Mainstream lines up exports to UK
Eddie O’Connor’s Mainstream Renewable Power is making progress in its talks with the UK National Grid to export “green” electricity to Britain.
O’Connor is lining up Mainstream to cash in on the potential opportunities offered by a deal between the Irish and British governments that will allow exports of wind-generated electricity to Britain from the Republic.
He announced his project, dubbed “Energy Bridge” in June, and plans ultimately to export 5,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Britain.
Yesterday Mainstream said it had finalised negotiations with the UK’s National Grid for 5,000MW of “firm access” to be delivered between 2017 and 2020.
It has also secured agreements covering half of the land it will need to build the wind turbines that will generate the electricity. The contracts involve 300 landowners in the midlands.
This month the two governments will sign a memorandum of understanding that will pave the way for the agreement needed to open up the British market to Irish generators.
The theory is that wind farms based in the Republic and its territorial waters can hook directly into the British grid and supply electricity.
O’Connor has been beating the drum about renewable electricity for a long time.
He founded Airtricity, and in 2007 oversaw the sale of its businesses to established players, most notably Scottish Southern Electricity, when it was still very much a work in progress, netting himself €50 million in the process.
It will be interesting to see if he decides to go the same route with Mainstream.