CHICAGO and DUBLIN, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Mainstream Renewable Power, the global renewable energy company, today announced its first U.S. investment, purchasing a portfolio of wind farm projects in Illinois with the potential to generate 787 megawatts by 2013. The company acquired the assets from local wind farm developers Bruce and Joyce Papiech of FPC Services for an undisclosed price. The portfolio comprises three separate projects at various stages of development, located within 100 miles of Chicago, the nation's third largest metropolitan area; and will require more than $1.69 billion over a four-year period to develop fully.
The most advanced is the 120MW Shady Oaks project, located in Lee County, Illinois, which is due to commence construction next year. When fully built in 2010, it will generate enough green electricity to power about 30,000 homes. During the construction phase, the Lee County project is expected to employ about 120 people; and to provide ongoing employment for approximately 12 people operating the wind farm.
The 467MW Green River project, also located in Lee County, is a mid-stage development project, with a grid interconnection position already located in the project area, and it is expected to be construction-ready by the end of 2010. The 200MW Boone County project is in earlier development stages.
Dr. Eddie O'Connor, co-founder and CEO of Mainstream, said, "The U.S. market is of strategic importance to Mainstream, and the scale of the opportunity is strongly reflected in President Obama's economic stimulus package, which includes $56 billion in grants and tax breaks for U.S. clean energy projects over the next 10 years and a budget of $15 billion a year to fund renewable energy programs. The Administration's goal of generating 25 percent of the nation's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 will help revitalize the U.S. economy and protect consumers.
"Renewable energy has a huge role to play in reversing the economic downturn. Countries need large-scale indigenous energy sources such as wind power to stabilize fuel prices, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions and reliance on imported fossil fuels. What's needed is vision, expertise and innovation, and Mainstream's team of almost 100 highly experienced staff is focused on delivering these projects into operation by 2013."
Mainstream established its U.S. office in Chicago in 2008 and last December appointed Chuck Watson as non-executive director to lead its U.S. advisory board. Watson, co-founder and former chairman of Houston-based energy company Eagle Energy Partners, was formerly chairman and chief executive officer of Houston-based Dynegy Inc., an asset-based, integrated energy provider. Watson founded NGC Corp., Dynegy's predecessor, in 1985 and served as chairman and CEO until May of 2002.
The Illinois projects are Mainstream's second North American transaction in three months, having announced the signing of a CAD$840 million joint venture with Canadian wind farm developer, Alberta Wind Energy Corporation (AWEC) to build an initial portfolio of over 400MW of wind energy plants in Alberta by 2013. The company also has announced plans to build a wind farm in Chile in the forthcoming months.
Mainstream Renewable Power, based in Dublin, Ireland, was founded in February 2008 by Dr. Eddie O'Connor and Mr. Fintan Whelan, former chief executive and corporate finance manager of Airtricity. Its core business is to develop, build and operate wind energy, solar thermal and ocean current plants by partnering with governments, utility companies, developers and investors across North America, South America, Europe and South Africa.
Airtricity, Dr. O'Connor and Mr. Fintan Whelan's former company, is an international wind farm developer and operator and an integrated renewable electricity utility in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Airtricity was sold in 2008 to Scottish and Southern Energy, Perth, Scotland, for Euro 1.8 billion.
Since its inception, Mainstream has:
- Actively engaged in development opportunities, onshore in Canada, the U.S., Chile, and South Africa as well as offshore in the U.K., Ireland & Germany.
- Established offices in Berlin, Chicago, Dublin, London, Santiago and Toronto.
- Raised Euro 72 million in equity, including EUR20 million from Barclays Capital for a 14.6% stake in the company.
- Raised a further Euro 26 million in Loan Notes through Dolmen Corporate Finance in December 2008.
- Signed a $1 billion joint venture to build a 400MW pipeline in Chile.
- Signed a CAD$840 million joint venture to build a 400MW pipeline in Canada.
- Announced a joint venture with South African wind farm developer, Genesis Eco-Energy, to build an initial pipeline of over 500MW of wind energy by 2014.
- Awarded the exclusive right to develop a 1.1 billion offshore wind farm in Scottish territorial waters, with a potential capacity of 420MW.
- Appointed Fintan Drury as chairman of its Board, which also comprises Sir Roy Gardner (U.K.), former head of Centrica, Chuck Watson (U.S.) of Eagle Energy Partners, Mark Brown (U.K.) of Barclays Capital, Brendan Halligan, chairman of Sustainable Energy Ireland and John Lavery of Lavery Kirby Gilmartin Solicitors.
- Assembled a team of almost 100 managers and staff, who have a combined experience of over 250 years in the renewable energy industry.
For more information, visit http://www.mainstreamrp.com/
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SOURCE Mainstream Renewable Power