Platform Hydroelectric plant in the Amazon should be tendered by 2014
10/05/2012 12:27 - Portal Brasil
The first platform-style hydroelectric plant will be tendered by the Federal government between late 2013 and early 2014, according to the President of the Energy Research Company (EPE), Mauricio Tolmasquim. The São Luiz and Jotobá plants will be constructed on the Tapajós River, in the Amazon.
The platform-plants are hydroelectrics whose design is based on the same concept as offshore oil exploration platforms, with the aim of causing the least possible impact on the environmental. The dam will be constructed by fewer workers and once complete, the entire construction site will be dismounted and removed, and the area around the plant will be reforested. The platform-plant operates with a greater degree of automation than a normal hydroelectric and does not rely on roads connecting the site to the outside facilities. Employees will be taken to and from the plant by helicopter, the same as transport of personnel to offshore oil rigs. It will be expressly prohibited to create urban centers such as accommodation villages around the plant.
According to Tolmasquim, this concept will be used in Amazon forest areas, where there is no human habitation. "There will be virtually no environmental impact because the site will be reforested and all that will remain in the forest is the plant. The idea is not to have any development around the site. We have to create such innovations to use our resources", he said.
The Amazon Basin concentrates the largest part of Brazilian hydroelectric potential, but is still untapped. Tolmasquim said that Brazil cannot "let go" of its hydropower resources, since this source of energy is inexpensive and renewable. According to Tolmasquim, EPE has also completed a study on the feasibility of solar energy in Brazil that will be delivered to the Ministry of Mines and Energy next week.
Tolmasquim also informed that Brazil should figures among the top ten countries generating power from wind power by next year. Currently the country produces around 1.5 megawatts (MW) from wind turbines. The forecast is that the Brazilian wind farms will start generating more than 5,000 MW by 2013.