German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex expects to exceed 1,000 wind turbines installed in Brazil by 2023. The turbines are installed in 19 wind farms in five states, where the company also provides operation and maintenance services.
The wind turbines are installed in farms owned by Statkraft, Enel Green Power, AES Brasil, Green Investment Group, TODA Investimentos, EDP Renováveis, and others.
"With 1,000 wind turbines of different capacities, we will reach 4 gigawatts of operational installed capacity. In 2023, we will consolidate our activities in the Brazilian market based on the performance of the Delta N163/5.X turbine. This model has adapted well to the wind speeds and altitudes in Brazil," said Felipe Ramalho, CEO of Nordex in Brazil.
Today, Brazil has an installed capacity of 26 GW. However, the low price of electricity in Brazil has exposed the imbalance in the market to such an extent that the marginal cost of expansion has become unprofitable for some producers.
According to Mr. Ramalho, despite the difficulties in making new wind projects profitable, especially due to the high interest rate and the low price and oversupply of energy, wind power should remain competitive with other energy sources, and the new capacity to be installed in the coming years will depend on the strength of the winds.
In addition, the company has already sold 240 wind turbines between 2021 and 2022, which will be installed between 2024 and 2025. Part of the orders will go to Pernambuco, a state where the company does not yet operate. The amount represents approximately 1GW. In addition, the group recently signed a new contract for the supply of 34 wind turbines to be installed in Rio Grande do Norte.
"The current average production is three to four turbines per day. It could double. At some points next year, we could see a drop or even an interruption if new projects don't come on line in the short term," he said.
Today, the company has about 1,300 direct employees working in three factories in Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, and Bahia. The good times are partially explained by the expansion of Brazil's electricity system driven by non-hydroelectric renewable sources, such as wind power, which will add 2.9 GW of capacity in 2022. More than 3.1 GW is expected by 2023, according to the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).
Despite the disruption to supply chains, the company has invested in customization projects and expanded its operations. Between new blade molds supplied by Aeris, the expansion of the nacelle factory and hubs in Bahia and the installation of new concrete tower factories, around E20 million have been invested in the last three years.