Mainstream secures €60m deal for major renewables expansion

Mainstream Renewable Power has signed a deal that will see the company receive €60m (£48m) from banking services provider Macquarie Group to develop and expand its ambitious wind and solar capacity plans.

The agreed corporate facility will enable Mainstream to fund its renewable energy projects, which include the construction of several wind and solar plants in Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada with a total capacity of 325MW.

In addition to the €60m deal, Mainstream said it has also raised €16.8m to further develop its business including the Energy Bridge project, which will export 5,000MW of wind power from Ireland to the UK from 2017.

Commenting on the deal, Mainstream’s chief executive Eddie O’Connor said: “After going through our initial development stage, Mainstream is now embarking on a very strong growth trajectory. We have a team of over 150 specialised staff actively developing more than 50 large scale wind and solar projects across four continents.

“We have started construction on over 325MW of wind and solar projects in four countries and this investment means we will be bringing more projects into construction as well as expanding our global project development portfolio.”

After winning three government tenders in South Africa last year, construction is due to start on Mainstream’s 138MW wind farm and two 50MW solar photovoltaic plants in the Eastern and Northern Capes.

Mainstream is also due to commence construction at the 33MW Negrete Cuel wind farm in Chile and the 46MW Old Man wind farm in Canada. Mainstream’s first Irish project, a 9MW wind farm, goes into commercial operation in November 2012.

The company has recently submitted a planning application for its 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scotland and is also progressing two mega-scale offshore wind farms in England and Germany.

Leigh Stringer

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