Neoenergia expanded its grid investments in order to provide more service quality to all of its 15.7 million customers and reinforce the safety of the electrical sector. In 2021, the company amounted to the Capex of R$ 6.1 billion in distribution and transmission, an increase of 16%. The robust investments enabled the expansion of the concessionaires' grids, in addition to delivering all lots acquired in transmission auctions held by the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (Aneel), in 2017, with average acceleration of 15 months.
The group has five distributors – Neoenergia Coelba (Bahia), Neoenergia Pernambuco (Pernambuco), Neoenergia Cosern (Rio Grande do Norte), Neoenergia Elektro (São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul) and Neoenergia Brasília (Distrito Federal). Altogether, the companies invested R$ 3.9 billion in 2021. Considering the fourth quarter, the concessionaires' Capex reached R$ 1.1 billion, an increase of 35% in comparison with the same period in 2020.
R$ 2.6 billion out of the total annual amount were targeted to the grid expansion, which includes, without limitation to, the construction of new substations and distribution grids. The construction of new assets reinforces the company's commitment to supply quality and assists the economic development of the concession area, since it enables to safely and reliably expand the energy availability. In addition, the works contribute to the job generation in the areas where it serves.
All the new substations have equipment with state-of-the-art technology and automation, in addition to enabling the remote monitoring and management of those enterprises, directly from the distribution companies' centers of operation. Those technologies increase the reliability.
Neoenergia's transmitters invested R$ 2.2 billion in 2021, R$ 264 million above the 2020 figure. In the last quarter, the transmission lines and substations that make up the Santa Luzia (lot 6) and Jalapão (lot 4) projects were energized, both of which were sold at the December 2017 auction.
The company also completed the fifth and final stretch of the Dourados transmission line (MS), acquired on lot 4 of the April 2017 auction. All projects were delivered in advance and with capex saving of 20%, on average, demonstrating the execution capacity and commitment to the rate of return.
The Santa Luzia project is located in Paraíba and had already had its first stretch inaugurated in July, enabling the start of the commercial operation of the Chafariz Wind Complex. In addition to Fountain, the Solar Luzia Complex, another strategic venture to expand Neoenergia's clean energy portfolio, will be connected to the National Interconnected System (SIN) through the new asset.
LT Jalapão is now the largest extension of the company operating in the segment, with 728 kilometers passing through the states of Tocantins, Maranhão, Piauí and Bahia. The function of the line is to expand the transmission network to expand the energy exchange between the North and Northeast regions, facilitating the flow of energy generated by the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant (PA).