Mainstream consortium awarded 238MW of wind and solar contracts in South Africa

The consortium led by global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power was today awarded preferred bidder status by the Department of Energy in South Africa to deliver 138MW of wind energy and 100MW of solar PV into commercial operation by 2014. The award was made under the first round of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme.

The projects which represent an investment of ZAR 5 billion are expected to reach Financial Close by June 2012 and commence construction shortly thereafter.

The equity members of the consortium consist of:
•    Globeleq; a global power Company.
•    Thebe Investment Corporation; one of South Africa’s most established broad based BEE Investment management companies.
•    Local Engineering firms Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering.
•    Local Community Members.
•    Mainstream Renewable Power.

The projects have been co-developed by Mainstream and its local partner, the pioneering renewable energy developer Genesis Eco-Energy who has been active in South Africa since 2001. The consortium’s strategic delivery partners include Absa Capital which has fully underwritten the debt for the three projects as well as Siemens, Suntech and Group Five Iberdrola on the technical delivery aspects of the projects.

The projects awarded are:
•    Jeffreys Bay 138MW wind farm located in the Eastern Cape.
•    De Aar 50MW Solar PV farm located in the Municipality of Emthanjeni in the Northern Cape.
•    Droogfontein 50MW Solar PV farm located near the town of Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

Commenting on the award, Mainstream’s Chief Executive Eddie O’Connor said: ““We are very pleased to be awarded 238 megawatts.   We won all the projects that we bid.  I congratulate Minister Peters for putting in place a process which is truly world-class and for the superb manner in which it has been executed. The government has shown tremendous vision and foresight in creating this new and sustainable industry for South Africa, firmly placing it on the world map for renewable energy generation. Mainstream is fully committed to playing a leading role in the delivery of this vision and we look forward to participating in Round 2 and all future rounds.”

“As an experienced and established owner, operator and developer of power generation facilities, Globeleq is excited to be partnering with Mainstream to develop the various wind and solar projects in South Africa.”  Added Mikael Karlsson, Globeleq’s CEO.  He continued:    “We believe that power generation using free and natural fuel sources such as the sun and wind to generate clean and sustainable electricity is a realistic energy solution. The Mainstream Projects are a perfect example of how we can grow the economy through use of affordable generation, job creation and protection of the environment while meeting South Africa’s energy needs.  This is an exciting step forward for the South African energy industry and further reinforces Globeleq’s commitment to be the leading energy company in Africa”.  

Pieter Kriel, Thebe Power & Infrastructure Group Executive said: “This initiative will allow Thebe to get its new renewable energy investment programme off the ground through an initiative that is both good for the country’s future electricity and carbon emission strategy, while offering the potential for very good returns. Mainstream, which has already committed to more than R5bn worth of renewable energy investments in South Africa, is one of the leading renewable energy companies in the world with a proven global track record and is an ideal investment partner for us.”

Ends.

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