Mainstream completes Chile wind and solar financing deal
Over US$1.8 billion invested in 1.35GW Andes Renovables platform
7 Jul 2021 | Michael Marray

Dublin, Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power has achieved financial close for the third and final phase of its Andes Renovables wind and solar platform in Chile. The US$182 million in debt raised will be used to build the Copihue phase, which consists of one wind farm, named Camán, in central Chile.

The project, which will commence operations in 2022, initially had an installed capacity of 100MW but has since increased to 148.5MW following the signing of an additional long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with a strategic partner.

The senior debt financing comes from KfW IPEX-Bank, DNB and CaixaBank, while the VAT financing comes from Scotiabank Chile.

With the financial close, Mainstream completes an investment of more than US$1.8 billion to build its entire Andes Renovables platform, which is expected to be fully operational by 2022 and will provide around 20% of power for regulated customers using renewable energy in Chile.

Sacyr will be the balance-of-plant contractor for the Caman wind farm and will carry out the electrical connection works. The main transformer will be supplied by ABB.

Andes Renovables, as one of the largest renewable energy platforms in Latin America, will have an installed capacity of 1.35GW of clean energy, generating around 3,100 jobs during its construction.

Manuel Tagle, Mainstream’s general manager for Latin America, says: "Andes Renovables will power the equivalent of more than 1.7 million Chilean homes and avoid the emission of more than 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per annum, the same as that produced by approximately 350,000 cars each year.

"The ten wind and solar farms that make up the platform are located between the regions of Antofagasta and Los Lagos. It is precisely this geographical and technological diversification that will allow for a more secure and constant electricity supply."

In 2016, Mainstream was the biggest winner in Chile’s largest-ever technology-neutral electricity auction, taking 27% of the total allocated capacity. Chile’s National Energy Commission awarded Mainstream a 20-year index-linked, US dollar-denominated contract to supply power starting in 2021.

The phase one 571MW Condor portfolio has three onshore wind and one solar plants. The phase two 630MW Huemul portfolio has three onshore wind and two solar plants.  The three portfolios are spread over 2,000 kilometres, located near Antofagasta in the northern part of Chile all the way down to Puerto Montt.

Senior lenders on phases one and two were IDB Invest, KfW IPEX Bank, MUFG, SMBC, DNB, CaixaBank, Natixis and Societe Generale.

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