Mainstream Renewables postpones flotation because of RSPB court appeal over £2bn Scottish offshore wind farm

Andy Kinsella
Andy Kinsella

The Ireland-based wind power company currently enmeshed in a UK Supreme Court legal battle over its planned £2bn Scottish offshore turbine-farm has postponed its planned stock market flotation because of the dispute.

Mainstream Renewables – which wants to build the NnG project off the Angus coast – was granted planning permission last year by the Scot-Govt.

But the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds launched a successful legal appeal against that consent on the grounds that the Scot-Govt had not fully considered the potential adverse impact of the turbines on sea-bird life.

The Scot-Govt itself appealed that verdict, which resulted in the RSPB escalating its appeal to the Supreme Court. No date has been set for that case to be heard.

As a result, the long-awaited flotation of Mainstream Renewable Power, which has raised about €200 million in equity in its first nine years, has been put back until 2020, according to the group’s newly-appointed chief executive.

And even if it gets the go-ahead to build the wind farm, Mainstream plans to sell it for a higher price as soon as it is built.

In an interview with the Irish Times, Chief Executive Andy Kinsella said the initial public offering (IPO) postponement is largely down to a legal wrangle setting back the planned sale of its a Scottish wind farm development and as management concentrates on building out projects in South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

“Realistically, I think an IPO is about three years away,” he said. “Potential investors should have quite a good picture in three years’ time of our revenue streams from projects, making it a better time to float.”

Mainstream Renewables location of proposed NnG offshore wind farm
Mainstream Renewables location of proposed NnG offshore wind farm

Kinsella added that it could mid-2018 before the outcome of a drawn-out legal battle affecting the key Scottish 450MW offshore wind farm project concludes.

He said that Mainstream plans to sell the development, subject to it receiving the final go ahead, for “significantly higher” than a €100 million agreement it had reached early last year, which was subsequently set aside.

Mainstream Renewables was set up in 2008 after founder Eddie O’Connor, now executive chairman, sold Airtricity to Perth-based utility SSE.

8 Sept 2017

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed