Mainstream plans €4bn Yorkshire wind farm
A JOINT venture including Mainstream Renewable Power will submit a planning application this month to erect 1,000 megawatts of wind turbines off the coast of Yorkshire.
Mainstream chief executive Eddie O'Connor told the Irish Independent that he hoped a planning decision would be made around this time next year.
Speaking from Scotland, where Mainstream has recently been granted planning permission for onshore cable works to connect its 450MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Fife to the UK's national grid, Mr O'Connor said the company wasn't currently seeking to raise any additional capital to fund its activities.
Mainstream has raised a total of about €273m from backers, including private investors, since it was founded by Mr O'Connor – a former Bord na Mona boss. His initial investment was made after he made about €50m from the €1.8bn sale of Airtricity to Scottish and Southern Electricity in 2008.
In the last few months, it also secured €60m in financing from backers such as Australia's Macquarie Group.
At the end of 2011, Mainstream raised €40m in loan notes from Irish high net worth private investors through Dolmen Stockbrokers.
In 2012, the firm also finalised a €13m equity fundraising from private investors through NCB Stockbrokers.
The funds were used to help expand Mainstream's activities in geographies such as Chile and South Africa.
The initial 1,000MW wind farm development off the Yorkshire coast will probably cost in the region of £3.5bn (€4bn) to develop, said Mr O'Connor. Other elements of the Hornsea development are due to be submitted to planners next year.
The Hornsea zone has the potential for wind farms with a total capacity of 4,000MW of power, providing enough electricity to meet 4pc of the UK's energy demands.