Mainstream Renewable Power heads up $1.9bn African RE platform

A $1.9 billion, 17 GW investment vehicle has been launched in collaboration between Mainstream Renewable Power and Actis to develop clean energy projects across Africa.

The generation platform, Lekela Power, has been created alongside private equity firm Actis and will oversee the construction of 700 to 900 MW of wind and solar projects on the continent by 2018.

This latest collaboration between Mainstream and Actis follows two successful joint ventures in Chile and South Africa, with the Lekela platform set to begin with the construction of a 360 MW wind power project in south Africa. A further 225 MW wind power project in Ghana is also part of the Mainstream pipeline and will be transformed to the Lekela platform at financial close.

Details on solar-specific projects are not yet forthcoming, but previous Mainstream projects amounting to a pipeline of 17 GW of clean energy have always placed solar PV front-and-center.

"We are delighted to be working on our third collaboration with our financial partner Actis, which once again draws on Mainstream’s portfolio of wind and solar projects and our track record delivering them into commercial operation on time and on budget," said Mainstream’s onshore procurement, construction and operations MD Barry Lynch.

Actis’ head of renewable energy, Lucy Heintz, added that Lekela Power would help meet Africa’s soaring demand for renewable energy. "In South Africa for example, currently 95% of the country’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations. While the region has significant natural and fossil fuel resources, a lack of long-term investment has led to a reliance on emergency and short-term diesel generation."