15 Jun 09 Projects United States

Mainstream Renewable Power to build 787MW of wind energy in Illinois by 2013

15 June 2009

First 120MW project to start construction next year.

Mainstream Renewable Power, the global renewable energy company, has announced the acquisition of a portfolio of wind farm projects in the State of Illinois with a potential capacity of 787MW. The company has acquired the assets from local wind farm developer FPC Services, in a deal which involves a capital investment of more than $1.69 billion over a four year period.

The portfolio comprises three separate projects at various stages of development; 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 project is expected to employ about 120 people as well as generating employment through local service provision. In addition, the wind farm will provide ongoing employment in the operation of 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 at earlier development stages.

Commenting on the deal, Mainstream's Chief Executive, Dr Eddie O'Connor, said,” The US market is of strategic importance to Mainstream. The scale of the opportunity is enormous. Last month alone, the US sent $18bn overseas, importing 386m barrels of oil, so they need a solution which can be deployed fast and at scale. This is strongly reflected in President Obama's economic stimulus package which includes $56bn in grants and tax breaks for US clean energy projects over the next 10 years and a budget of $15bn a year to fund renewable energy programmes. His campaign position of generating 25 per cent of the nation's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 will help revitalise the US economy and protect consumers.

He continued, ‘Renewable energy has a huge role to play in reversing the economic downturn. Countries need a large-scale indigenous energy sources such as wind power to stabilise fuel prices, create jobs, bring down carbon emissions and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels. What's needed is vision, expertise and innovation and we have a team of almost 100 highly experienced staff 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.

The Illinois projects are Mainstream's second North American transaction in three months, having announced the signing of a CAD$840 million joint venture deal 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 has also announced plans to build a project in Chile in the forthcoming months.

For more information contact:
Emmet Curley, Mainstream Renewable Power
Tel: +353 85 734 9946
Email:  emmet.curley@mainstreamrp.com

Please click here to view a PDF version of the Press Release.