BNDES is to provide R$471.5M (US$212M) for the small projects, which are planned to have combined installed capacity of 137MW.

The plants will each have an installed capacity of less than 30MW and reservoir areas smaller than 3km2. To be built in the states of Minas Gerais and Santa Catarina, their total investment cost is R$774.2M (US$348M).

The first plant to be built is the 10MW Cocais Grande, in Minas Gerais, and it is due to begin operations in December.

The other nine plants are: Aiuruoca, Arvoredo, Barra de Paciencia, Corrente Grande, Ninho da Aguia, Paiol, Sao Goncalo, Varginha and Varzea Alegre. All projects, including Cocais Grande, have signed long-term power supply contracts.

The bank’s total small hydro portfolio consists of 83 plants, which have 1.6GW of total installed capacity. The projects cost a total of R$7.50B (US$3.37B) of which R$4.6B (US$2.07B) has been given in loans by BNDES.