With a focus on offering a service with ever more quality for customers, Neoenergia has increased investments in expansion and modernization of distribution and transmission networks. In the first quarter of 2021, R$ 1.3 billion was allocated by the company to these segments, an increase of 49% over the same period last year. The resources are used in services such as the construction of new lines and substations and the implementation of new technologies in assets, contributing to the strengthening of the electricity sector and the economic development of the company's areas of operation.
“We have important transmission projects that continue to advance with a view to advancing deliveries, which demonstrates our execution capacity and commitment to society, regulators and investors. The electric sector has a fundamental role in the recovery of the economy and we will maintain the investments", affirms Fabiano Uchoas, Director of Transmission at Neoenergia.
In transmission, investments more than doubled, reaching R$ 477 million between January and March 2021 - in the same period of 2020, investments were 234.7 million. In all, there are 1,038 kilometers of lines in operation and about 5,600 kilometers under construction, already including the lot purchased in the auction of December 2020, with 1,091 kilometers of extension mainly in Bahia.
In the first quarter of this year we can highlight the advances of three projects acquired in the auctions of April and December 2017, which are in the final stage of construction, with the anticipation in relation to the contractual terms of the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel). It all should be delivered in 2021, adding this year around R$ 300 million of RAP (Permitted Annual Revenue).
In the Dourados project (acquired in an event held by Aneel in April 2017 as Lot 4), the first three sections were delivered in 2020, totaling 359 kilometers of lines between the states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. The completion of these works took place up to 25 months ahead of schedule by the regulator. The penultimate stage was energized in the last month of April and the last one is being implemented, including 165 kilometers of extension and a new substation.
Projects under bid at the December 2017 auction are also under development: Jalapão (lot 4) and Santa Luzia (lot 6). When energized, the Jalapão project will be the most active transmission asset in operation by Neoenergia, with 728.5 kilometers spanning 19 municipalities in the states of Tocantins, Maranhão, Piauí and Bahia. The line will have the purpose of expanding the transmission network of the region, facilitating the flow of energy from the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant, a generator that also has the participation of the company. More than 2 thousand direct jobs were created in the construction.
The Santa Luzia lot has operational synergy with Neoenergia renewable generation projects, the Chafariz Wind Complex and the Luzia solar plants, which are expected to start producing clean energy in the Paraíba Sertão in 2022. 345 kilometers of 500 kV transmission lines are in the final stages of implementation, between Santa Luzia and Campina Grande, in Paraíba, reaching Milagres, in Ceará, in addition to the construction of a new substation.
Neoenergia recently received the installation license for lot 9 of the December 2019 auction, an important undertaking for the countryside of Bahia, where the company already has assets for the distribution and generation of energy. The works will start for the construction of two substations and a 105 km long line.
Neoenergia invested R$ 873 million in distribution in the first quarter of 2021, maintaining the growth trajectory of the concessionaires' Capex - in the same period last year, it was R$ 670 million. Most of the investments - R$ 590 million - were destined to the expansion of the networks. Among these actions there is the construction of new substations and distribution lines, which allow to expand the energy offer and, with this, help to stimulate the economic development in the areas where the company operates. In February, for example, the Major Sales substation, built by Cosern in the municipality of the same name, was energized, benefiting the Alto Oeste region, which is economically important for agriculture in Rio Grande do Norte. In addition, the company carried out the integration of Neoenergia Distribuição Brasília, with a focus on modernization, expansion and automation, already showing expressive results.
The funds are also used to renew assets, improve the network and combat losses. Investments also include the installation of automation equipment, whether using tools to modernize the management of field teams or through network equipment. An example are self healing (auto reconfiguration) equipment, which allow the recovery in case of failures, usually caused by external factors, such as lightning and tree falls.
These resources are reflected in the quality of the service provided to the consumer, with better indicators than those established by the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel). At Coelba, the DEC, which indicates the duration of supply interruptions, was 11.77 from January to March 2021, while the limit of the regulatory body was 13.68. The index registered by Celpe was 12.36, below the maximum value established by the agency, 13.27. Cosern had a DEC of 8.49, less than the limit of 11.35. At Elektro, the index was 7.63, while the limit was 8.15.
Neoenergia Distribuição Brasília, with 28 days of management of the company, presented one of the best indexes ever recorded in the historical series of the month, in the Federal District: in March 2021, the DEC was 0.5, a reduction of 12% in relation to the same month in 2020. The group took over the operation of the company, acquired at auction at the end of last year, with the strategy of investing, in 2021, three times the amount historically allocated, per year, by the distributor, with a focus on expansion, automation and modernization of the electrical system. In the first year of the concession, more than 150 line reclosers are expected to be installed, a 50% increase in the park currently installed.