Mainstream South Africa is a leading developer of wind and solar projects employing more than 40 people in our Cape Town and Johannesburg offices. It has a pipeline of over 4 gigawatts in development in the Eastern, Northern and Western Capes.
The South African renewable energy market has seen exponential growth in recent years driven in the most part from 2011 when the South African government announced a Renewable Energy Procurement Programme (REIPPP). Since the programme was launched, Mainstream has been awarded 848 megawatts of wind and solar projects, more than any other developer.
Mainstream’s strategy is to work as a consortium to submit bids and we have previously worked in partnership with Absa Capital, Globeleq, Thebe Investment Company and Siemens Energy South Africa. In its pilot year, submissions were made for three projects – all of which are now in operation – Jeffreys Bay wind farm (138 megawatts), Droogfontein solar energy (50 megawatts) and De Aar solar energy (50 megawatts). All projects reached commercial operation safely, on time and on budget during April and May 2014.
In recognition of the success of the initial programme, the government launched subsequent rounds and in 2013, a further Mainstream led consortium was successful and won preferred bidder status to deliver 360 megawatts of wind energy projects. These projects reached financial close in summer 2014 and are currently in construction. In June 2015, Mainstream was awarded two wind projects (250 megawatts), the Kangnas wind farm located in the Northern Cape (140 megawatts) and the Perdekraal East wind farm (110 megawatts) located in the Western Cape.
Mainstream’s role in South Africa is to work with the communities where we are developing our projects to deliver value to these communities and grow a new sustainable industry. Together we can create decent jobs, stimulate rural development and bring about real skills transfer. This will ultimately result in the development of sustainable communities and businesses with long term value that will benefit all South Africans.
In this short film below, see the impact of the Noupoort wind farm in the local community.