Mainstream Renewable Power's international expansion plans received a major boost today as it emerged as one of the biggest winner in Chile's latest clean energy auction, securing contracts to build almost 1GW of new wind power capacity.
The company has been awarded seven 20-year contracts totalling 986MW of capacity that are expected to mobilise $1.65bn of new wind energy investment.
The deals formed the centrepiece of the largest and most competitive clean energy auction in Chile's history, with the tender process seven times oversubscribed as 84 companies submitted 85,000GWh of bids for just over 12,000GWh of available power.
The company said the round marks the first time Mainstream has participated independently in a Chilean bid and all projects are 100 per cent owned by the Ireland-based developer.
The move further cements Mainstream's presence in the Chilean market, where it has led the development of over 2GW of wind and solar capacity since 2009. In addition, the company is poised to complete 300MW of new wind projects next year through a joint venture with Actis after securing contracts in last year's auction.
Mainstream's chief executive, Eddie O'Connor, welcomed the latest contract wins. "Today's win underpins Mainstream's standing as the leading independent renewable energy company in high-growth emerging energy markets," he said. "We had the industry foresight to take early positions in Chile and South Africa and we are rolling out similar plans across Africa, Central America and Asia. We look forward to developing these projects to the highest standard to deliver competitive priced energy into the Chilean system from 2021."
He added that he would be meeting with the CEOs of the main wind turbine manufacturers in the coming months to discuss the next generation of turbines required for the projects.
He also argued the latest auction provided further evidence of the growing cost competitiveness of renewable energy around the world. "Around the world, renewable energy is winning on price and on delivery," he said. "We continue to find innovative ways to fund our projects as we add to our exciting emerging markets project pipeline - just like the recently announced $117.5m equity funding for our African platform, which included investors such as the IFC and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund."
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