Energética Barra Grande S.A. (Baesa) was constituted on September 27, 2001, the date on which it obtained the concession for the Barra Grande Hydroelectric Power Station, a development constructed in the Santa Catarina and Gaúcha Hills, on the bed of the Pelotas River between the municipalities of Anita Garibaldi (SC) and Pinhal da Serra (RS). Baesa is a company formed by a consortium of five investors, with Alcoa having a 42.2% shareholding. The other members in the investment are: CPFL – Geração (25%); Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (15%); InterCement (9%) and DME Energética (8.8%).
The Barra Grande Hydropower Station started operating on November 1, 2005, when its first generating unit was activated. In February 2006 the second unit started functioning and three months later, in May, the third and final unit came into operation. Maximum installed power is 708 megawatts, which is sufficient to supply 26% of the electricity demand of Santa Catarina, or 17% of all the electricity consumed in Rio Grande do Sul. Each generating unit has 236 megawatts of installed power.
On January 4, 2008, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) renewed Operating License (OL) 447/2005, relative to the operation of the Barra Grande Hydropower Station, for six years, and in doing so recognized the quality of the social and environmental actions being developed by Baesa.
Although Baesa’s initial objective was to generate power, it went further: since it started being built the development has generated employment, income, opportunities, quality of life, motivation and prospects for a region with a low Human Development Index (HDI) and for a population with a variety of needs. Thanks to its numerous social and environmental projects Baesa distinguishes itself as a development that is fundamental for driving the economy and offering solid bases for the development of the region that is affected by the power station.
In its search for sustainability and reliable energy over the long-term, Alcoa believes that the installation of Baesa represents an important step for Brazil and the country’s industry. In addition to investments of some R$ 1.5 billion, the hydropower station has also invested more than R$ 200 million in social and environmental compensation actions and social responsibility projects.