Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações Ltda. (“EGPB”), inaugurated the Apiacás hydropower complex. The new facility is located in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil’s Central-West Region, 150 km from Alta Floresta.
“The inauguration of Apiacás is an important achievement for Enel in Brazil, as we followed the highest sustainability and environmental standards for its construction and we were able to complete the facility well in advance of the original deadline,” said Enel`s Country Manager in Brazil Carlo Zorzoli. “Apiacás shows how to best use Brazil’s hydro resources while contributing to both the sustainability of the country’s energy mix and the development of local communities.”
The complex, which is owned by three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) held by EGPB, has a total installed capacity of 102 MW and is composed of three power plants: Salto Apiacás (45 MW), Cabeça de Boi (30 MW) and Fazenda (27 MW). The three hydro plants have started commercial operations more than a year before the deadline set by the rules of the 2013 A-5 auction in which the Group was awarded the project.
Apiacás is able to generate more than 490 GWh per year, enough to meet the annual energy consumption needs of more than 200,000 Brazilian households, while avoiding the emission of about 280,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Enel invested approximately 287 million US dollars in the construction of Apiacás, an investment financed through the Group’s own sources. The facility is supported by a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the sale of a fixed amount of power generated by the three hydro plants to a pool of distribution companies operating in the Brazilian regulated market. The supply covered by the PPA will start in January 2018 and any electricity generated before that date will be sold on the free market.
Apiacás was the first power facility in Brazil to have a solar PV system installed in order to generate and supply the energy for the construction site, reducing the emissions related to the construction works. The 1.2 MW facility is stand-alone, meaning that it is not connected to the grid. Now that the hydro complex’s construction has been completed, the photovoltaic plant will keep operating, adding its own renewable power to that produced by the hydro plants.
Apiacás is also an example of sustainable investment carried out under the Enel Group’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) model, which aims to combine the business perspective of the company with the needs of communities in the areas where it operates by pursuing decisions that create value for both sides. Its construction was characterised by the use of measures and technologies that reduced the environmental impact of building works and local community development initiatives, such as biodiversity protection projects (reforestation programmes) as well as local infrastructure and public engagement initiatives (management and sustainability training courses for municipal government bodies that promote the development of local infrastructure).
EGPB currently has a total installed capacity of 648 MW, of which 401 MW comes from wind, 12 MW from PV solar and 235 MW from hydro. Moreover, the company has 442 MW of wind and 807 MW of solar projects currently in execution. Through Enel Green Power Cachoeira Dourada, the company also operates a 658 MW hydro power plant in the state of Goiás.