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Airtricity founder comes back with €200m renewables plan

turbine51.jpgHow do you follow up a massive success? If you’re the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the simple answer is you don’t: you make Fire and then you go back and sit around for a bit, not bothering the top 40.

Eddie O’Connor, the brains behind Airtricity – the wind energy business which sold its US arm to E.ON for $1.4bn and the rest to Scottish and Southern Energy for £1.1bn – is no Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

He’s planning to follow up Airtricity with another renewables business, unambiguously called Mainstream Renewable Energy. He’s put €30 million of his own cash into it and he’s now seeking an extra €200 million in funding by September to help with expansion.

Mainstream has big plans. They look like this:

Mainstream Renewable Power will build and operate wind energy, solar thermal and ocean current plants and will achieve this by partnering with governments, utility companies, developers and investors in both established and emerging markets.

Since its inception in February 2008, Mainstream Renewable Power has achieved the following objectives:

  • The company is actively engaging in development opportunities both onshore and offshore in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the US, Chile and Australia and has offices in four of these locations
  • The company has already identified a number of potential partners in its key markets and has firm offers for wind turbines for delivery in 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Mainstream has signed heads of agreement with Andes Energy in Chile to develop an initial pipeline of 260MW
  • Mainstream has invested €1 million in 2-B, the Dutch offshore turbine designer
  • The company has appointed Fintan Drury as Chairman of its Board, which also comprises Sir Roy Gardner, former head of Centrica and Brendan Halligan of Sustainable Energy Ireland
  • Fintan Whelan, previously of Airtricity has joined the senior management team as Chief Financial Officer while Torben Andersen also formerly of Airtricity has joined the team as Chief Development Officer. The team also comprises Andy Kinsella, formerly Head of Strategy and Sustainability for ESB Power Generation, as Chief Construction and Plant Operations Officer.
  • The company has assembled a team of 35 managers and staff, who have a combined experience of over 150 years in the renewable energy industry, half of whom will be based in international markets. The company plans to recruit an additional 35 staff by 2009

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