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ABB wins $55mn energy infrastructure order to support wind power growth in Brazil

ABB has secured a key order to supply substations and transmission infrastructure to increase wind-generated electricity in Brazil’s energy mix.

Under the $55mn order, the power and automation technology group will supply three new substations and transmission infrastructure for the Brazilian utility Eólicas do Sul. The project is part of the Brazilian government’s efforts to increase the share of wind power as part of its renewable energy portfolio - over 1.5GW of wind capacity is currently installed in Brazil, with another 7GW in the pipeline for development in the next five years.

“These substations will help to integrate wind energy and boost power supplies to meet growing industrial, commercial and residential demand,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “They will also reinforce the transmission grid and help improve reliability, efficiency and power quality.”

ABB will design, supply, install and commission the substations in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, bordering Uruguay. The project scope includes two turnkey 34.5/138kV substations, one 138/500kV substation, step-up power transformers and air- and gas-insulated switchgear. The firm will also supply supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telecommunication systems as well as IEC 61850 compliant substation automation, control and protection equipment. Step-up transformers will increase the voltage of wind-generated power for integration into the transmission grid.

In addition, ABB will also supply and install two 138kV overhead transmission lines to connect a new 400MW wind power plant, one of the largest in the country, to the national electricity grid. The project is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Brazil, which has traditionally relied heavily on hydropower for its electricity supply, is the largest consumer of electricity in Latin America – using twice as much as its neighbors Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The country’s installed generating capacity is just over 100GW, which is comparable to Italy or the United Kingdom. However, it is forecast to need around 150GW operating by 2020. In addition, the country will require substantial investment in infrastructure, including additions to transmission and distribution networks, to connect remote renewables and transport power efficiently across an expansive geography. 

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Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power