Mainstream Renewable Power to explore green hydrogen with Chilean wind and solar projects

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Image: Toshiba Corporation.

Green energy group Mainstream Renewable Power and Norway’s Acker Clean Hydrogen have signed a letter of intent to explore the development of green hydrogen in Chile.

The collaboration will use renewable power from 1GW of Mainstream’s portfolio of wind and solar park projects in the country.

Carlos Jobet, Chile’s minister of energy and mining, said the country’s “stable institutions…fiscal policy, controlled inflation and multiple international trade agreements, make Chile an ideal location for foreign investment.”

Mainstream’s 1.3GW portfolio of wind and solar assets is currently under construction, with the first tranche of projects due to commence commercial operation later this year. It also has an additional 1GW pipeline, which has been earmarked for the green hydrogen partnership with Aker.

Aker Clean Hydrogen is a new subsidiary of renewables investor Aker Horizons, which also launched this week. Aker Horizons plans to list the business unit on Oslo’s Euronext Growth equity trading market in the future, as well as use it to develop 5GW of green hydrogen capacity by the end of the decade. The company currently has 1.3GW in its development pipeline.

Aker Clean Hydrogen said it would collaborate with Mainstream to “develop a global scale and commercially viable green value chain in Chile with a significant export potential.” Aker said it would also look to bring the cost of production to US$1.5/kg by 2030.

The announcement comes a month after Aker Horizons, the renewables arm of investment company Aker, announced it will acquire a 75% stake in Mainstream, which is due to close in the second quarter of 2021. The purchase valued the solar and wind project developer at €1 billion (US$1.21 billion).

Aker Horizons is also preparing for a potential near-term private placement for Aker Clean Hydrogen, which is expected to have a minimum placement of €100,000 (US$121,340).

Kristian Røkke, Aker Horizons’ chief executive officer, said the new division will be address “a massive market poised for global growth, with an opportunity to have a significant impact on CO2 reductions.”

Manuel Tagle, Mainstream’s chief executive for Latin America, said that Chile “has the potential to lead the world in the production of the world’s most cost efficient green hydrogen.”

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