Teles Pires Hydropower Plant, located between the States of Mato Grosso and Pará, invested R$ 10 million for Amazon Forest protection and preservation. Since its launch, in 2015, 20 thousand hectares were benefitted from the Forest Restoration Program and implementation of the Area of Permanent Protection (APP), area of which is equivalent to 28 thousand soccer fields. By 2030, native seedlings are expected to be planted across 2 thousand hectares. The initiatives are in line with Neoenergia's objectives of contributing to the conservation of the biodiversity.
“The actions benefit the entire local ecosystem by protecting springs and headwaters, reducing the soil erosion and the river siltation, balancing the climate and providing the animals with shelter and food. The preservation is also an important ally in the combat to the climate changes, which is one of the company's commitments", stated Neoenergia's Hydropower Operations and Engineering Superintendent, José Paulo Werberich.
Between the areas, there are about 15.5 thousand hectares of forest in advanced stage of preservation, showing a great diversity of fauna and flora species from Amazon forests. In addition, about 955 hectares of degraded areas were reforested through planting native seedlings and 978 hectares will naturally regenerate in areas protected from the anthropic use, enabling the conduct of the natural succession by favoring the regional biodiversity.
The planting of the native seedlings of the region is performed across the APP of the enterprise's reservoir, which has 194 square kilometers of preservation area. Some of those species are Cedro-rosa (Cedrela fissilis Vell.), Golden Trumpet Tree (Handroanthus serratifolius (Vahl) S.Grose) and Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King). The seedlings come from Eco Vida nursery, located in Paranaíta (MT), maintained by the plant at a location provided by the City Government. As part of the partnership, Teles Pires HPP provides the city with 50 thousand seedlings a year, which help the restoration of the environmental liability in rural properties. The nursery has the capacity to produce 600 thousand seedlings a year, comprising of 275 species. By 2020, more than 1 million of such seedlings were sent to be planted.
“The studies carried out in the forest areas have been performed since 2014 and found a high diversity with the presence of many rare species. The program listed 6,322 trees from 322 different species and other 2,690 plants from 254 species which comprise of the forest at the area of implementation of the enterprise and surrounding the reservoir. All of them were catalogued and are periodically monitored for their protection. During the studies, new species were found, such as the orchid named Catasetum telespirense Benelli & Soares-Lopes", stated Daniel Novaes, Neoenergia's Engineer from Renewable Hydraulic Office.
With the monitoring, it is possible to evaluate whether or not activities, such as replanting of seedlings, are required. From 2018 to 2020, more than 70 thousand seedlings were replanted in order to increase the gene flow, which is important to ensure that they keep their characteristics and avoid the rise of new species.
Teles Pires HPP has already invested R$ 565 million in social and environmental programs and for the indigenous communities across the region, and R$ 160 million more will be allocated to such initiatives over the next 10 years. 25 works were performed for the health area, 14 for education, 11 for infrastructure, culture and leisure, three for public security, and three for social welfare. In 2021, the House of Culture and Memory of Paranaíta (MT) is expected to be completed, as well as the adjacent room to the Museum of Natural History of Alta Floresta (MT). The enterprise has already generated R$ 100 million in Municipal taxes, in addition to R$ 180 million in royalties, resources that may be contributed to the benefit of the population.
The hydropower plant is one of the most efficient in Brazil, having installed capacity of 1,820 MW, sufficient to supply about 13.5 million people. R$ 4 billion were invested for its construction.