The Teles Pires Hydroelectric Power Plant, controlled by Neoenergia, was registered to issue Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC). The bonds may be sold and transferred to companies that, by buying them, directly encourage the generation of clean energy, contributing to the fight against climate change. This is a widely accepted way in the global financial market to demonstrate sustainable energy practices and balance greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The approval was made by the Totum Institute, the entity responsible for the system in Brazil.
I-RECs are growing in Brazil and around the world, especially at this time when the market increasingly demands compliance with ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria. From January to April 2021, it was already issued the same number of certificates that have been issued during the last full year.
“These bonds enable the traceability of energy, guaranteeing its clean and renewable origin, as well as ensuring reliable carbon accounting based on global standards. Therefore, they are a solution used by companies that are part of stock exchange sustainability indexes or have emission reduction targets, for example. In this way, customers who buy generation certificates at the Teles Pires plant are aligned with our own goals of helping to decarbonize the economy." says the Superintendent of Operations and Hydraulic Engineering at Neoenergia, José Paulo Werberich.
The hydroelectric plant, located between the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, has an installed capacity of 1,820 MW and is considered one of the most efficient in the country. Each I-REC is equivalent to 1MWh of generated energy.
To issue the certificates, the Teles Pires plant was included in the I-REC Platform, after an audit process carried out by the Totum Institute. The bonds referring to the energy generated from 2020 by the enterprise may be marketed. After the sale, they are “retired" – that is, transferred to the buyer, avoiding duplicate negotiations to maintain the credibility of the negotiations.
The I-RECs can be acquired as an environmental attribute of clean energy, with the objective of neutralizing the companies' carbon emissions. For this, they are based on the GHG emissions inventory of scope 2 of the Brazilian GHG Protocol Program, those indirectly originating from the energy consumed. In practice, it is possible to buy certificates equivalent to this issue. This type of negotiation can be done either by clients in the free market or in the regulated environment.
The Teles Pires plant also has a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, an emissions compensation format created by the Kyoto Protocol. Through this initiative, the energy produced by the enterprise generates carbon credits, the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). In 2020, 1,473,640 tCO2e were sold, for R$ 2.3 million, to companies in Brazil, India and the Netherlands. These credits were issued for energy production in the period between November 2015, when the hydroelectric plant started operating, and February 2017. The company is in the process of issuing credits from February 2017 to December 2018, which total approximately 5.6 million tCO2e.