Irish wind and solar company, Mainstream Renewable Power, has launched a pan-African renewable energy generation platform, Lekela Power, which will provide between 700-900 megawatts of wind and solar power across Africa by 2018. Lekela Power, worth nearly €1.7 billion, is Mainstream’s third partnership with its financial partner Actis. The platform will operate in a similar fashion to the existing partnerships, with Mainstream taking responsibility for the full end-to-end management of the projects. These include site identification, project development and construction management, as well as the operations and maintenance of plants. As reported last week, Mainstream announced financial close and the start of construction for three wind farms in South Africa, which will form the core of the Lekela platform. They are expected to reach commercial operation in 2016. Mainstream, an Engineers Ireland CPD Accredited Employer, also has a pipeline of other projects across Africa which will transfer to the Lekela platform at financial close including the 225 megawatt Ayitepa wind project in Ghana. Commenting on Lekela Power, partner and head of renewable energy at Actis, Lucy Heintz, said Africa’s need for renewable energy is pressing due to soaring demand and funding constraints.“In South Africa for example, currently 95% of the country’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations. While the region has significant natural and fossil fuel resources, a lack of long-term investment has led to a reliance on emergency and short-term diesel generation,” she added.