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Brazil plans hydropower auctions for 3,700 MW of new capacity

Brazil may sell rights to construct at least 3,700 MW of energy capacity before the end of this year as it auctions off as many as 10 new hydropower projects, the country's energy research corporation reported.

The electricity regulator of Brazil is preparing the auctions and may have environmental licenses ready for the projects before the end of this year, the president of state-controlled energy research company EPE said.

The auction may include four hydropower projects on the Teles Pires River in Brazil's center-west region and five hydro projects on the Parnaiba River in the northeast. The government may also auction energy from the Santo Antonio do Jari dam in Brazil's Amazon region, officials told media outlets.

The winning bids, which offer to sell energy from the dams at the lowest price, would need to begin producing energy by 2015, wire reports indicate.

Because the necessary licensing for some dams may not go through before the end of this year, Brazil may only auction some of the hydro power this year, officials said. The additional energy necessary to meet demand would likely be contracted through auctionsof thermoelectric power next year that would come online in at most three years, according to wire reports.

In other news, the consortium developing the Jirau hydro project in Brazil's northern state of Rondonia plans to boost the capacity of the project by 300 MW, wire services reported. Six new turbines will be added to the original project, bringing the total number of turbines to be installed to 50, developers told Business News Americas.

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