It’s Back to Brazil

For the third year, PennWell is taking DistribuTECH to Brazil. POWERGRID International is the event’s official publication, and this issue will be distributed at the event.

Brazil is the largest country in South America with 8.5 million square kilometers of land mass and 7,500 kilometers of coastline. It has abundant minerals, ores, fossil fuels and fertile agricultural land, all of which drive the country’s growing economy. In addition, Brazil is home to many large rivers that are ideal for hydropower facilities. During years with at least average rainfall, the 14-GW Itaipu dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay can provide nearly 25 percent of Brazil’s electricity supply. Even during droughts, which Brazil is experiencing, hydropower provides the largest percentage of Brazil’s electricity. The country also has substantial wind corridors suited for wind generation, which is growing steadily there.

Nevertheless, Brazil lacks the infrastructure to deliver electricity to end users. Most of Brazil’s hydropower is in the Northwest far from load centers primarily in the Southeast. Long, expensive transmission lines are needed to move the hydropower and allow Brazil to develop its wind power potential adequately.

But progress is being made. In November, Interligação Elétrica do Madeira (IE Madeira), a consortium of three major Brazilian energy providers, energized the Rio Madeira transmission link in Brazil. The 600-kV bipolar overhead line is the world’s longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line. It is 2,385 kilometers (about 1,500 miles) long, and it can transmit up to 7.1 GW of electricity. ABB and Alstom supplied power equipment for the Rio Madeira transmission link, which was constructed in 24 months. A few weeks ago, ABB commissioned the HVDC converter stations.

Brazil’s distribution infrastructure also needs investment. Energy theft, aging, inadequate infrastructure and the lack of automation keep Brazil’s distribution companies from providing adequate, reliable electricity to their customers. Politics and government policies have created some of Brazil’s electricity problems, and those are tough to change. Others problems can be addressed and changed through innovative technologies and processes, which is why PennWell created DistribuTECH Brasil. Our goal is to provide conference content and exhibitors that will help T&D utilities find solutions and partners and provide reliable electricity to fuel the growing economy.

DistribuTECH Brasil will be co-located with PennWell’s HydroVision Brasil and POWER-GEN Brasil events. Attendees and exhibitors are sure to leave with a lot of knowledge. If you’re interested in the Brazilian electricity industry, please join us Oct. 21-23 in Sao Paulo.

TERESA HANSEN   Editor in chief
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