Sunday 24 September 2017

Mainstream Renewable investing €670m in new wind farms

Eddie O'Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power
Eddie O'Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Dublin-based energy development company Mainstream Renewable Power is investing €670m in developing three large-scale wind farms in South Africa.

A consortium led by Mainstream was awarded the contracts for the three wind farms by the Department of Energy in South Africa in October 2013.

The farms, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, are expected to begin construction this month.

Barry Lynch, Mainstream's managing director for onshore procurement, construction and operations, said mainstream has been awarded more megawatts than any other developer under the South African Government's renewable energy procurement programme.

"Globally, Mainstream continues its aggressive wind and solar expansion programme; we have hundreds of megawatts in construction and operation in Ireland, Chile, Canada and of course South Africa," he said.

"We are close to putting additional projects into construction in Chile in the coming months and recently received consent to build and operate two multi-billion pound offshore wind farms in the UK."

The wind farms include the 140MW Khobab farm in the district municipality of Namakwa in the Northern Cape, the 140MW Loeriesfontein 2 farm in the district municipality of Namakwa and the 80MW Noupoort farm in the local municipality of Umsobomvu in the Northern Cape.

South Africa has so far procured about 3,900 megawatts of capacity through the three competitive rounds of bids, with about $10 billion invested.

That exceeds the 3,725 megawatts initially sought from five bid windows. An additional 3,600 megawatts will be sought, the department said in December.

Also in December it was announced that Mainstream was part of a consortium that had won permission to build the world's first one-gigawatt far-from-shore wind farm.

The farm, located 120km off the Yorkshire coast, will be able to power 800,000 UK homes once it is completed.

Siemens Financial Services and Dong Energy are the Irish company's partners on the project, which is expected to be operating in 2020.

In October, Mainstream was awarded consent to build and operate the £1.5bn (€1.9bn) Neart na Gaoithe farm off the coast of Scotland.

Earlier in the year, the Irish company postponed plans for a stock market flotation in Asia.

Chief executive Eddie O'Connor founded Mainstream in 2008 after selling Airtricity for €1.1bn to SSE.

Irish Independent

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