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Mainstream Renewable Power builds 500 MW wind in South Africa

Mainstream Renewable Power has signed a joint venture (JV) deal with South African windfarm developer, Genesis Eco-Energy, to build an initial pipeline of over 500 MW of wind energy in South Africa by 2014.

The JV company plans to have two wind energy projects with a combined capacity of 70 MW ready for construction early next year. The deal involves a €850 million capital expenditure over a five year period and could see projects developed at the Eastern, Northern and Western Capes.

The 30 MW Jeffrey's Bay windfarm, near Port Elizabeth and a 40 MW project at Colesberg are both at advanced development stages and are expected to be fully operational early in 2011.

Mainstream Renewable Energy's Chief Executive, Dr Eddie O'Connor says: “Wind energy is very much an untapped resource in South Africa and this is a huge opportunity for us. The country is facing serious power shortages due to the lack of generating capacity.

“Right now there is less than 10 MW of wind energy in operation in South Africa, but with their excellent wind resource there's the potential for many thousands. We are confident that the South African Government will shortly implement appropriate policies to kick-start and support the wind energy market.”

Genesis Eco-Energy's Director of Operations, Davin Chown adds: “Our partnership will support the government’s drive to demonstrate tangible and meaningful progress toward the implementation of large scale renewable energy projects ahead of events such as the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

“It will also be an important boost to economic development, energy security, job creation and local industry development for the local and provincial economies in the target project areas. The projects will also significantly contribute to the country’s climate change mitigation strategy”.

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