The 565.5MW Paraiba wind farm complex in Santa Luzia, Brazil, is the biggest onshore wind project being developed in Latin America.

The wind complex will include 18 wind farms, of which three are already operating, while 15 new wind farms are under development.

Construction of the new wind farms is expected to be completed by January 2023 and is estimated to create more than 1,200 local jobs.

Iberdrola, a power company based in Spain, is developing the complex through its subsidiary Neoenergia. The Brazilian company will be in charge of the construction, engineering, and overall development of the project.

Paraiba wind farm complex details

The Paraiba wind farm complex is located near the town of Santa Luzia in Paraiba State, Brazil. The site is located in one of the windiest regions in South America.

The three currently operational wind farms are Lagoa I, Lagoa II, and Canoas with 31.50MW installed capacity each. Commissioned in August 2015, the three wind farms are expected to operate until 2050.

The remaining 15 wind farms will add 471MW of capacity to the national grid.

Turbine details

The three operational wind farms are equipped with 45 Gamesa G114 turbines. With a nominal power of 2.1MW, the G114 turbine will have a rotor diameter of 114m and a swept area of 10,207m², while its blades will measure 56m-long each.

The G114 turbine features a three-stage gearbox and a doubly-fed induction machine generator.

The new wind farms at Paraiba complex will consist of 136 Siemens Gamesa SG3.4-132 turbines, which are being manufactured at Siemens’ plant in Camacari, Bahia.

The SG3.4-132 turbine will have the capacity to produce up to 3.75MW. Each turbine will have a rotor diameter of 132m and a swept area of 13,685m².

The turbines include a combination of a three-stage gearbox (two planetary stages and one parallel) and a doubly-fed induction generator.

Each blade of the turbine will be 64.5m-long and will be made of fiber glass, reinforced with polyester resin or epoxy.

The pitch-regulated, variable-speed turbines will have a levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) for high and medium wind speeds. The turbine has a three-stage gearbox and a generator with doubly-foiled induction machine.

Key players involved

Siemens Gamesa was awarded the contract for the supply of 136 SG3.4-132 turbines for the Paraiba wind farm complex, in June 2018.

MS Enertech, an engineering services and consultancy company based in Spain, conducted civil engineering works for the Lagoa I, Lagoa II, Canoas I, and Canoas II wind farms.

Energy market in Brazil

Brazil is the third biggest electricity generator in the Americas, next only to the US and Canada. Renewable sources account for approximately 81% of the country’s electricity generation, while hydropower alone accounts for more than 70% of the total capacity.

The country added more than 2GW of wind power capacity in 2017.

According to the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, the country’s wind energy investment share is expected to increase from 3% to 8% by 2018.

Being the biggest economy in Latin America, Brazil has the potential for a recovery in terms of high investment in the clean energy sector.