GE is set to increase its presence in the Brazilian wind energy market after receiving commitments from four wind farm developers to supply more than 400 MW of wind turbine capacity.

The commitments are a result of Brazil’s 2010 alternative energy auctions and come one year after the US conglomerate was chosen by wind project developers to supply wind turbines for projects that will add up to 400 MW of capacity to the grid.

The latest commitments include 258 of GE’s 1.5 MW and 1.6 MW wind turbines and come from Renova Energia S.A., Dobreve Energia S.A. (DESA), Contour Global and Bioenergy.

The projects will be located in Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte states.

Both DESA and Renova are among the companies that selected GE’s wind turbine technology for their projects following the 2009 alternative energy auctions. These projects, again located in Rio Grande do Norte and Bahia states, are expected to start operating in 2012.

The 2009 auction was the first wind-specific auction to be held in Brazil.

“We have had success in winning a quarter of the megawatts awarded in the past 12 months in Brazil. These relationships support our positioning as one of Brazil’s wind energy leaders and, most importantly, represent an important step towards our long term vision as key players in this country,” said Jean Claude Robert, GE’s wind director for Latin America.

GE’s scope with each of the developers will include the supply, erection and commissioning of the wind turbines, along with service agreements of at least two years.

Brazil is Latin America’s leading wind market with 31.6 GW of capacity expected to be installed by 2025, according to a recent study from IHS Emerging Energy Research. The study also highlights Brazil’s market scale and proactive renewable energy policies as key elements in creating a steady growth in wind power development for the country.

GE recently announced plans to invest $100 million in Brazil in a new global research centre that will focus on advanced technologies for the oil and gas, renewable energy, mining, rail and aviation industries. It also plans to invest $400 million over the next three years in the country in technology, training, new product development, new plant and equipment and human capital.

These investments include $200 million for new wind turbine and aeroderivative product development and increased plant capacity for GE’s Energy and Oil and Gas businesses.