Mainstream Renewable Power to re-enter Irish market with three new projects

Dublin-based energy company will create 100 Irish jobs over next three years

Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power is set to re-enter the Irish market with the development of three energy projects off the east, southeast and west coasts of Ireland.

The majority Norwegian-owned company, which retains a large Irish shareholding, announced on Tuesday that it will create 100 new full-time jobs over the next three years, 50 of which it expects to fill over the coming year.

The roles will be based at the company’s new global headquarters at Central Park business park in Leopardstown, opened this week “in support of its national and global growth plans”, the company said in a statement.

“This is on the back of a period of unprecedented growth with Mainstream’s global workforce having increased from 335 in January 2021 to over 650 people today, across 20 markets globally,” the company said.

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Last month, Aker Horizons, part of the Norwegian Aker Group industrial investments giant, announced that its 54.4 per cent-owned Mainstream unit will combine with its 100 per cent-owned Aker Offshore Wind business.

Valued at €2.2 billion, the new group has a 27 gigawatt portfolio across solar, onshore wind and both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind projects across Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe. These range from projects in planning and development, through to assets under construction and in operation.

Mainstream said in a statement on Tuesday that it is now developing three sites off the east, southeast and west coasts of Ireland, with plans for significant offshore wind energy developments at each location that are designed to support the Government’s carbon emissions targets for the electricity sector by 2030.

Founded in Ireland in 2008, the company built several big wind energy projects in the State before selling them on, including the 7.65 megawatt Carrickeeny Wind Farm in Leitrim, which it sold to Ikea in 2013.

The three new projects earmarked for Ireland mark the company’s re-entry into the Irish renewables market after selling off the Raragh Wind Farm in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, to Blackrock in 2019.

Mainstream said its expansion into the domestic market is being supported by the Government through IDA Ireland.

Commenting on the announcement, Mainstream chief executive Mary Quaney said that despite the company’s global footprint, Ireland remains “very much the engine room of our business”.

She said: “We’re extremely proud of our Irish heritage led by our local management team. Our expansion here in Ireland, and our journey to becoming a renewable energy big will provide a unique opportunity for new team members that we bring on board over the next year to make a hugely positive difference in the energy transition and industrial decarbonisation, domestically and internationally.”

Ms Quaney said that “Ireland has very significant, and in many ways unique, offshore wind potential” and that the company and is “progressing opportunities for fixed and floating technologies off the east, west and south coasts”.

Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar said Mainstream’s growth story is “inspirational”.

“Today’s jobs announcement is great news for Ireland and those that wish to play a role in supporting Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Mary Buckley, executive director of IDA Ireland. “We’re particularly excited by Mainstream’s plans to partner with local companies as part of its ambitions to contribute to the creation of a local supply chain that brings value back to local communities.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times