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Brazil awards contracts totaling 5 GW in power-plant auction

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 28 (EFE).- Brazil’s government on Friday awarded contracts for 51 power plants that will have a combined generating capacity of 4.98 GW and begin supplying the domestic market in 2019.

The average price of the contracted electricity at the auction, organized by the Electrical Energy Commercialization Chamber, or CCEE, was 196.11 reais (some $78) per megawatt-hour.

The vast majority of the contracted power – 4 GW, or 80.5 percent of the total – corresponds to 12 thermoelectric plants, while 36 wind farms account for 925.9 MW (18.5 percent), and three small hydroelectric power stations will supply the remaining 43.8 MW.

Construction of the 51 plants will require total investment of 15.2 billion reais (nearly $6.1 billion), the state-run Energy Research Company, or EPE, said.

The total value of the power purchase agreements was 114.5 billion reais (some $45.8 billion) and the contracts range in length from 20-30 years depending on the energy source.

The least expensive energy source was wind, with an average price of 136 reais ($54) per megawatt-hour, while the most expensive was biomass, whose average price was 207.11 reais ($82) per megawatt-hour.

Contracts also were awarded for combined cycle and natural gas- and coal-fired power plants, which generate more pollution.

Brazil ended 2013 with total electricity generating capacity of 126.7 GW, 63.8 percent of which corresponded to hydroelectric plants, according to the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency, or ANEEL.