January 29 (Renewables Now) - Italian-Brazilian energy company BI Energia will invest BRL 5 billion (USD 1.2bn/EUR 1bn) in the offshore wind sector of Brazil's Rio Grande do Norte state, the local government announced on Tuesday.
In all, Rio Grande do Norte has 200 GW of offshore wind generation potential, according to the coordinator of the State Secretariat for Economic Development (Sedec), Hugo Fonseca. The government is also developing a wind atlas to attract new investments.
The state intends to adapt new policies to speed up future projects, such as taking responsibility for the licensing from Brazil's Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).
Representatives of BI Energia expressed their wish to commence works as soon as possible. “The conditions are great and we have no reason to wait. We are going to start work tomorrow,” said Gaspare Ferrara.
At present, BI Energia has a EUR-1-billion (USD 1.1bn) offshore project in Ceara state, where it expects to commence turbine installations in the second half of 2021.
Recently, Brazil's state-owned energy research firm EPE published a study revealing that the country has 700 GW of offshore wind potential at water depths of up to 50 metres.
(BRL 1 = USD 0.238/EUR 0.216)
(EUR 1 = USD 1.102)