Renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power has signed $117.5m equity investment from several investors to support the development of more than 1.3GW of wind and solar power plants in Africa.


The investors include including IFC, the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund, two funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company, Ascension Investment Management and Sanlam.

Subject to shareholder approval, the deal will provide equity funding for Mainstream’s Lekela Power joint venture with Actis to help develop the renewable projects by 2018.

Lekela is a 60/40 pan-African joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power.

Mainstream Renewable Power CEO Eddie O’Connor said: "Developing Africa’s power infrastructure, giving millions of people access to power and enabling the continent’s economic growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

"Renewable energy is the quickest and most cost effective solution to achieve this and Mainstream is dedicated to being the leading vehicle in delivering this on the ground."

The funding will be used by Lekela to develop a pipeline of projects in Africa which include construction of four wind farms in South Africa, two wind farms and a solar plant in Egypt, as well as wind farms in Senegal and Ghana.

World Bank Group member IFC Africa infrastructure head Bertrand de la Borde said: "Renewable energy has enormous potential as a clean, reliable, and affordable power source for Africa and we are delighted to help connect Mainstream with solar and wind investment opportunities across the continent through this partnership."

Separately, Lekela acquired the rights to co-develop and invest in the 158W Taiba Ndiaye wind project in Senegal.

The projects are expected to contribute to key international initiatives, including the Obama Administration’s Power Africa which aims to add 30GW of cleaner power, and the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All, which intends to achieve universal access to power by 2030.

Image: Eddie O’Connor and Bertrand de la Borde. Photo: courtesy of Jomphong/