A study prepared by Brazil's federal power utility Eletrobrás has identified six potential hydro project sites on the 965km long Teles Pires river in Brazil's Amazon region.

The report says that the river has the potential to produce 3697MW. Teles Pires is a tributary of the Tapajós river that is located in the Amazon region in northern Brazil, crossing the states of Mato Grosso, Pará and Amazonas. Teles Peres ranks second in power potential among undeveloped river basins in Brazil, after the 7840MW potential of the Madeira – also a tributary of the Amazon.

Brazil’s federal energy research company EPE will carry out basic feasibility of the six Teles Pires projects in order to offer them at auctions. Considerations such as environmental, economic and social impacts in the river basin will determine the development constraints on the projects. EPE plans to invest US$33M to carry out the studies, which are due to start before the end of 2007. After the studies are completed, EPE officials anticipate the projects to be auctioned in 2008.

The Teles Pires river crosses several reserves of indigenous groups and natural conservation areas, which may affect development. Brazil’s total hydro power generation potential is estimated at some 258,000MW, while the current installed capacity is about 85,000MW. According to Aneel, Brazil’s power regulator, another 13 inventory studies are underway, which have a combined potential to generate some 5518MW.