The Dublin-headquartered firm already has projects in Vietnam, South Africa, Chile and South Korea
Mainstream Renewable Power is looking to enter the Irish offshore wind market for the first time, targeting three major developments off Ireland’s coast.
It follows last year’s sale of Mainstream by founder Eddie O’Connor to Norway’s Aker Horizons.
The company, which already has onshore and offshore projects and assets in countries such as Vietnam, South Africa, Chile and South Korea, is developing three offshore wind energy sites in Ireland, They’re located off the east, southeast and west coasts of the country.
Mainstream chief executive Mary Quaney said that Ireland has “very significant” offshore wind energy potential.
“Given our roots within the Irish energy market, we plan to leverage the vast expertise and capabilities that we have developed internationally over the past 14 years to help build a state-of-the-art renewable energy system and a local supply chain to support it, all while providing investment, jobs and other meaningful benefits to our local communities,” she said.
Mainstream is this morning announcing plans to hire 100 additional staff for its global headquarters in Dublin by 2025. The new roles will support the company’s international growth and the offshore energy development plans for Ireland, according to Mainstream. The event is being attended by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Mary Buckley, executive director of the IDA.
Mainstream has opened a new head office in south Dublin, where 200 staff will work by the end of 2025. The firm’s global workforce has increased from 335 early last year to more than 650 today.
Mainstream said it’s on target to become one of the world’s first renewable energy majors during this decade. Its total global portfolio now extends to 27GW.
Ireland must be generating 70pc of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. Last month, the Government raised its 2030 offshore wind energy target to 7GW of generation from 5GW.
But industry lobby group Wind Energy Ireland has warned that meeting the target can’t be achieved unless the planning system is reformed and the electricity grid is strengthened.
There is a significant number of major offshore wind energy projects in the pipeline around Ireland, which will cost tens of billions of euro to develop.
“Mainstream’s offshore team, which is best known for developing the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Hornsea in the UK, is in the process of conducting early-stage development activities on its target sites in Ireland and is commencing its engagement with key local stakeholder groups including fisheries, port authorities and other community groups,” according to the company.
Mainstream founder Eddie O’Connor reached agreement last year to sell 75pc of the company. That transaction valued the firm at €1bn, with Mr O’Connor owning 55pc of the business. In April this year, Japan’s Mitsui joined Aker Horizons as a long-term strategic investor.