Mainstream completes financial close for three wind farms in South Africa

Global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power today announces the successful completion of financial close for three wind farms in South Africa with a combined capacity of 360 megawatts. In October 2013 a consortium led by Mainstream was awarded the contracts for the three wind farms by the Department of Energy in South Africa under the third round of its Renewable Energy Procurement Programme. The wind farms, which are all located in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, represent an investment of approximately ZAR 9 billion and are expected to commence construction this month.

In 2011 a Mainstream consortium was also awarded 238 megawatts of wind and solar projects in the first round of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme and all three projects are now in commercial operation.

Commenting on the announcement, Barry Lynch, Mainstream’s Managing Director, Onshore Procurement, Construction and Operations said: “The team here at Mainstream is delighted with our success today. Mainstream has been awarded more megawatts than any other Developer under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme. Between Rounds 1 and 3 we have been awarded six projects with a combined capacity of nearly 600 megawatts. We are delighted to have recently delivered three wind and solar farms from Round 1 into commercial operation on budget and once again we are working with many of the same debt and equity partners, construction contractors and turbine supplier. Partnerships are very important for us and our success in South Africa is a great example of this.”

He continued: “Globally, Mainstream continues its aggressive wind and solar expansion programme; we have hundreds of megawatts in construction and operation in Ireland, Chile, Canada and of course South Africa. We are close to putting additional projects into construction in Chile in the coming months and recently received consent to build and operate two multi-billion pound offshore wind farms in the UK.”

The South African wind farms that have reached financial close are:

• The 140MW Khobab Wind Farm located in the District Municipality of Namakwa in the Northern Cape.
• The 140MW Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm located in the District Municipality of Namakwa.
• The 80MW Noupoort Wind Farm located in the Local Municipality of Umsobomvu in the Northern Cape.

The debt for the projects has been arranged and underwritten by Barclays and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The consortium of Murray & Roberts and Conco has been appointed as construction contractor and Siemens Wind will supply and install the wind turbines. Simmons & Simmons and Bowman & Gilfillan acted as Lenders’ Legal Advisor. Fasken Martineau and Stoel Rives acted as Sponsor Legal Counsel.
The equity members of the consortium consist of:
· Mainstream Renewable Power.image

· Actis, through its Actis Energy 3 Fund, a leading energy investor in emerging markets.

• 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 resource efficiency private equity fund that has supported two of its investors DEG (The German Development Bank) and FMO (The Dutch Development Bank) in the investment across the Mainstream portfolio.

• Local Community members through established community trusts.

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