The plans to develop the ASA BRANCA OFFSHORE WINDPOWER PROJECT were envisioned a long time ago, by 2001, after a great drought in Brazil, as reported in the Historical Scenario of this article, aiming at providing the National Grid with larger clean energy sources by means of offshore wind power plants. Its initial phase shall start by 2025 with 720 MW of installed capacity on the Brazilian Northeast coast. Today, it represents a challenging project since its implementation will be the largest pioneer offshore generation not only in Brazil, but also in the southern hemisphere at the tropical environment near the equator. The feasibility studies indicate the higher capacity factor of this Project that accrues from the known trade winds on this region blowing steadily toward the equator from the southeast.
The Project presented herein shall be the first phase of a much larger Offshore Wind Farm development that EÓLICA BRASIL has defined and presented to the Brazilian Authorities. This Phase-I has received permits to be installed at the sea near shore in the Municipality of Amontada, in an area that spans 15 km along the coast of Ceará State and at about 9 to 18 km distance of from the seashore.
In this region, there are more than 6 GW of onshore wind power plants installed or planed along the coasts of the Northeast Region at Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte States, distributed in hundreds of small and medium onshore generations very near the seashore. The successful operational experience of those projects is a significant indication of the unexplored offshore windpower potential available on this Brazilian coastal region, so that it is included among the most promising regions in the world to produce bulk clean power, especially considering huge offshore windpower plants that will certainly be one of the main Brazilian contributions to reduce the risks from global warming. World's biggest companies, from hi-tech firms to large banks, are bracing for prospect that climate change could substantially affect their bottom lines yet within the next decade due to impacts that will be faced as the planet warms. Early estimates suggest that trillions of dollars may ultimately be at stake.
The development of such enormous offshore potential of renewable energy, assured by existing both Brazilian legislation and official regulations, became technical and economic feasible in Brazil by applying the new conception of offshore wind turbine generators (WTGs) with unit ratings larger than 10 MW propelled by wind speeds faster than 10m/sec.
This paper presents the main technical characteristics of the conceptual design of this pioneer Project in Brazil, including the basics of planning and feasibility studies as well as the foreseen scenarios for national power market for offshore wind generation on the horizon of the next decade (2021-2030).