Mainstream entered the Ghana market in September 2014 announcing the signing of an agreement with Swiss wind farm developer NEK Umwelttechnik to purchase the first utility-scale wind farm in Western Africa – the 225 megawatt (MW) Ayitepa wind farm. Located 40 kilometres from Accra on the east coast of Ghana, the project represents a total investment of USD525 million and will reach financial close in early 2016 with construction commencing shortly after.
The companies will co-develop the wind farm until financial close. Mainstream will manage the construction as well as the operations and maintenance of the wind farm for its lifecycle. The project has reached a number of milestones and with all permits secured. In September 2015, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) signed the grid connection and offtake agreements are being finalised.
Mainstream is fully committed to the project and the community where it’s being developed. In July 2015, in association with the Global Wind Energy Council, an event was organised to engage with school-children to teach them about the renewable power – in particular, wind energy.
Ongoing community engagement is essential to the delivery of this project and a number of community events have been held where over 300 members of the community attended to hear more about the plans for the proposed wind farm. Mainstream’s development manager, Liam Leahy said ‘Getting to know the community, understanding their needs and answering their questions with honesty and transparency is a vital part of what we do as a reputable international developer of wind and solar projects.”
The community events are dedicated to an open questions and answers session including questions on where the wind turbines will be located. It also provides Mainstream with the opportunity to discuss how the wind farm will be designed in line with international best practice such Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards.