Mainstream raises $580m to help fund Chile renewables plan

The loan will finance the first stage of a 1.3GW wind and solar platform in the Latin American nation

Irish renewable energy developer Mainstream has borrowed $580m from a consortium of banks to finance construction of the first 571MW stage of its wind and solar platform in Chile.

Known as Andes Renovables, the whole project comprises 1.3GW of both technologies - 951MW onshore wind and 350MW solar PV.

The company didn’t provide financing details with the bank syndicates that includes CaixaBank, DNB, KfW IPEX-Bank, Natixis, SMBC, Societe Generale and Santander.

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“Breaking ground at Mainstream’s 1.3 gigawatt Andes Renovables platform is a major milestone in our long-term commitment to bringing low cost, clean energy generation to Chile,” said Mainstream CEO Andy Kinsella.

The entire planned capacity expansion will be operational by 2022. Many of the projects were contracted at a regulated market tender in 2016 in which Mainstream was one of biggest bidders.

Chile now has some 1.6GW of wind and 2.6GW of solar PV capacity in operation. The renewable energy was contracted in the past five years as the country has to reach the legally-binding target of 20% of non-hydro renewable energy supply by 2025. Last October, non-hydro renewables supplied over 23% of power.

The first stage of the Andes Renovables – known as Condor – is comprised of three onshore wind power projects: 157MW Tchamma, 185MW Cerro Tigre and 84MW Alena projects. These will be built with Vestas, Siemens-Gamesa and Nordex Group turbines.

The solar facility is the 145 Rio Escondido solar PV plant.

Mainstream says that it has a 2.7GW wind and solar pipeline in the country.

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