Irish energy firm Mainstream Renewable Power is set to begin construction work on €3.1bn worth of wind and solar projects across four continents this year.
The Dublin-headquartered firm is finalising grid connections for the projects which are based in Scotland, South Africa, Chile and Canada. They all have received planning permission and are fully financed.
The projects have a combined capacity of more than 1,000MW of power — enough electricity to power over half a million houses.
Seven of the projects are onshore programmes with one offshore. The company said yesterday it should begin construction this year. On average, the construction phase of onshore wind farms takes up to a year, with offshore projects taking slightly longer usually.
The 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore project in Scotland is due to begin construction in late 2014; while turbines for the 46MW Old Man 2 wind farm in Canada will be built in July.
Additionally, three projects covering a combined 360MW in South Africa are due to start work in the third quarter of this year, while 170MW worth of power over three farms in Chile will begin to be constructed in late 2014.
Mainstream was awarded the three South African projects last October, while last year it signed a deal to build 600MW of wind and solar projects in Chile by 2016.
“We’re now entering a very intensive growth phase. We are about to start building more megawatts than the ESB ever put into construction in Ireland in a single year,” said Mainstream’s founder and chief executive, Eddie O’Connor. “We put almost 300MW into construction last year. We have an even larger portfolio of late-stage projects ready to go into construction next year,” he said.
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