Dublin energy company secures £87m from Japan

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A JAPANESE trading company will today unveil a €100 million (£87m) equity investment in an energy company behind plans for a 450 megawatt (MW) wind farm off the Fife coast.

Marubeni Corporation will take a 25 per cent stake in Mainstream Renewable Power, which the Dublin-based firm said would enable further big projects to be financed.

The deal gives Marubeni a seat on Mainstream’s board alongside banking giant Barclays, which invested in the company in 2008.

The Marubeni deal signifies a “long-term strategic alliance” for both companies, which will see them working to accelerate Mainstream’s key projects globally. Marubeni already has interests in the renewables sector, including the offshore wind industry in Europe and the electricity supply business in the UK.

Since it was established in 2008, Mainstream has a built a global pipeline of more than 19 gigawatts – or 19,000MW – of wind and solar projects across four continents.

The company will begin building and exporting 5,000MW of wind energy from Ireland to the UK from 2018.

The firm has onshore consent for its Scottish project – named “Neart na Gaoithe”, which means “strength of the wind” in Gaelic – but planning permission is awaited for 70 turbines in the North Sea.

Chief executive Eddie O’Connor said that the two companies shared a “strategic mission” and had closely aligned values. He added: “This investment is a game-changer for Mainstream, allowing us to focus on accelerating our project portfolios across a range of markets as well as entering into new strategic jurisdictions that present strong value opportunities for our business.”

Hiroshi Tachigami, president of Marubeni’s Europower business, said that it had teamed up with “the right company at the right time in the global renewable energy businesses”.