The consortium led by global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power won preferred bidder status from South Africa’s Department of Energy for three large-scale wind energy projects in the Northern Cape with a total generation capacity of 360 MW. The award was made under the third round of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme. A Mainstream consortium was also awarded 238 MW of wind and solar projects in the first round of the programme in 2011 and the three projects are on track to be fully operational in mid-2014.

The consortium’s round three projects, which represent an investment of approximately R9 billion, are expected to reach financial close by august 2014 and commence construction shortly thereafter.

Eddie O’Connor, CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power says, “The team here in Mainstream is delighted with our success today. I understand the quality was very high; there were 93 bids submitted, only 17 were successful today and we won three of those. Mainstream is now the leading developer of renewable energy in South Africa; we have three wind and solar projects due to be operational in the coming months and now a further three large-scale wind farms due to start construction next year. More than five years ago Mainstream identified the future potential of the South African market and we are delighted that the quality of our projects and the experience of our team has been recognised today.”

He says, “I congratulate the South African government for putting in place a process which is truly world-class and for the superb manner in which it has been executed. This win underpins Mainstream’s long-term commitment to working with partners to bring the benefits of renewable energy, not only to South Africa but to the continent of Africa.

The wind farms awarded to Mainstream in round three under this round are:

  • The 140 MW Khobab wind farm located in the district municipality of Namakwa in the Northern Cape.
  • The 140 MW Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm located in the district municipality of Namakwa in the Northern Cape.
  • The 80 MW Noupoort wind farm located in the local municipality of Umsobomvu in the Northern Cape.

The equity members of the consortium consist of:

  • Thebe Investment Corporation; one of South Africa’s most established broad based BEE Investment management companies (advised by Bridge Capital).
  • The IDEAS Managed Fund, managed by Old Mutual Investment Group, one of Africa’s largest independent investment managers.
  • Futuregrowth Asset Management, a leading investor in developmental assets.
  • Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital. Genesis Eco Energy is a pioneering South African renewable energy developer which has been active in South Africa since 2001. Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital is a clean technology private equity fund with exposure to projects in round 1 and 2 of the renewable energy programme.
  • Local Community Members.
  • Mainstream Renewable Power.

The debt for the projects has been arranged and underwritten by Barclays, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and EKF the Danish export credit agency.

Picture: Eddie O’Connor, CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power