Actis, Mainstream team up in Chile renewables deal

Aela Energía, valued at $1.4 billion, will be the country’s largest wind and solar energy provider.

Emerging markets investor Actis and Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power will be jointly investing in Aela Energía, which is set to become the largest wind and solar energy provider in Chile increasing the country’s renewable energy capacity by 3.6 percent, the London-based fund manager said in a statement.

Actis has committed $290 million for a 60 percent stake in the asset, while wind and solar developer Mainstream is investing an undisclosed amount giving it ownership of the remaining stake. The project is valued at $1.4 billion including debt.

“We are delighted to support its [Chile’s] push towards extending and diversifying its renewable energy footprint, and we have drawn on our deep understanding of both Latin America and the energy sector for this,” Actis senior partner, Paul Fletcher, said.

While Aela Energía represents Actis’ first investment in Chile, it is not the firm's first foray into Latin America. The firm has already invested in Cerro de Hula in Honduras, the largest wind farm in Central America and manages Energuate, Guatemala’s national electricity distributor.

The fund manager invests exclusively in emerging markets, managing $5.2 billion in funds in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Mainstream has been active in Chile since 2008, with a local team that has been developing a portfolio of more than 3,500 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects, including the 33MW Negrete Cuel wind farm, which it is currently building.

“Mainstream has a global pipeline of over 17,000 megawatts of wind and solar projects globally and this project is something we may wish to replicate across our other markets,” said the company’s chief executive Eddie O’Connor. The developer’s other markets include Ireland, South Africa, and Canada.

Actis and Mainstream have worked together before, most recently in 2012, when both committed to the development of two solar plants and one wind farm in South Africa.