Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mainstream signs $1.4bn deal to create biggest solar farm in Chile

Mainstream's Eddie O'Connor
Mainstream's Eddie O'Connor
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

EDDIE O'Connor's Mainstream Renewable Power has signed a deal to develop $1.4bn (€1bn) of solar and wind energy "farms" in Chile.

Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power will build and manage operations at the South American project.

London-based private equity company Actis LLP is investing $290m and will have the majority 60pc stake in the joint venture, named Aela Energia.

Mainstream will hold a 40pc share in the joint venture.

Mainstream Renewable Power is the latest vehicle for Eddie O'Connor, a former Bord na Mona chief executive who set up Airtricity and netted himself around €40m when he sold the business for more than €2.1bn.

In Chile, the plan is to develop the country's biggest-ever solar-power projects that will generate 600 megawatts of electricity by 2016.

Chile's power infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand thanks to the country's booming mining sector.

Chile's energy minister said in April that the country would increase its electricity output by 1,000 megawatts this year alone to cope with demand that was rising at more than 5pc a year, which was in line with the country's wider economic growth rate.

"This platform is about meeting the needs of off-takers, particularly large-scale industrial consumers in Chile who need top-quality projects and competitive electricity prices," Mr O'Connor said in a statement.

It comes as the businessman eyes the prospects of developing large-scale wind power projects in the midlands here.

The plan is that wind farms here could potentially be the source of commercial electricity exports to the UK.

Irish Independent

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