Mainstream to begin construction on eight wind and solar power projects in 2014

12 February 2014 (Last Updated February 12th, 2014 18:30)

Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power will achieve financial closure on eight utility-scale wind and solar projects totalling more than 1,000MW and start construction work in 2014.

Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power will achieve financial closure on eight utility-scale wind and solar projects totalling more than 1,000MW and start construction work in 2014.

The projects, including seven wind power plants and a solar plant, are spread across four continents and will generate enough electricity to power more than half a million homes.

Having spent the past five years going through the development process, Mainstream's 180-member team has received necessary planning permissions and finalised the grid connections for the proposed projects, worth €3.1bn.

In the European continent, the company is due to begin preliminary construction activities on the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in late 2014.

Having received onshore planning consent in June 2013, Neart na Gaoithe, located 15.5km off the coast of Fife in Scotland, is expected to receive offshore consent shortly and begin preliminary construction work in 2014 with electricity generation scheduled for 2017.

The projects in the African continent include the 140MW Khobab wind farm, 140MW Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm and the 80MW Noupoort wind farm, all located in South Africa, and are due to begin construction in the third quarter of 2014.

"The projects, including seven wind power plants and a solar plant, are spread across four continents."

These projects, worth approximately $910m in the Northern Cape, were awarded to a consortium led by Mainstream in October 2013 by the Department of Energy in South Africa under the third round of the government's Renewable Energy Procurement Programme.

Mainstream will begin construction on the South American projects in late 2014 that include the 27MW San Manuel wind farm, 6.43MW Alena wind farm and 100MW Pedernales solar PV farm, all located in Chile, while 46MW Old Man 2 wind farm in Canada will have turbines installed in July 2014.

The Chilean projects totalling 170MW are being executed by Aela Energia, a joint venture established between Mainstream (40%) and Actis Energy Fund (60%) to develop 600MW of wind and solar projects in the country by 2016.

Mainstream has finalised a deal to sell the Canadian project to IKEA in November 2013 under which IKEA will assume the ownership once the plant becomes operational in the last quarter of 2014, while Mainstream will continue to operate and maintain the project for its lifespan.

Energy