Wind turbine maker Vestas (VWS.CO) announced plans for its first assembly facility in Brazil, an indication that the wind industry in the South American country could be preparing to take off.
The facility will be in Fortaleza in the northeastern coastal state of Ceara. Brazil has about 1.4 gigawatts of installed wind power so far.
Brazil is estimated to have more than 4,600 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, which contributes to the country's incredible wind power potential.
According to the 2001 Brazilian Wind Power Potential Report by the Electric Energy Research Center, Brazil has the potential to produce up to 145 GW of land-based wind power.
The new Vestas facility is expected to start operations in Q4 2011. It will be able to produce about 400 nacelles a year, or about 800 megawatts (MW).
Vestas is also opening a new operations cluster to service and maintain wind turbines, and for spare parts and supply chain activities.
Vestas says it is developing a network of local suppliers to deliver main components, products, spare parts and services in Brazil.
As of the end of 2010, Vestas delivered 204 MW for Brazil wind farms. For the first half of 2011, it has orders for an additional 380 MW.
Spanish Wind Turbine maker Gamesa (GAM.MC) and Spanish renewable energy developer Iberdrola Renovables (IBR.MC) are also active in Brazil with nine wind farms under development.
New US Supply Deal
Vestas also announced it received a 202 MW order from E.ON Climate & Renewables North America for 112 wind turbines for a project in the US. The project’s name and specific location were not disclosed.
Delivery is scheduled for the first half of 2012 and commissioning is expected in mid-2012.
Vestas last worked with E.ON on the 180 MW Papalote Creek wind plant in San Patricio County, Texas, which was finished in 2009 and consists of 109 turbines.
This order marks Vestas’ sixth North American deal for 2011, totaling 976 MW.