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ENERGY & UTILITIES | Renewables / Wind
airtricity.com

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Founded Year

1999

About Airtricity

Provider of wind energy. [Keywords: cleantech, energy/electricity generation, wind]

Airtricity Headquarter Location

Airtricity House Ravenscourt Office Park

Sandyford, 18,

Ireland

353 1 655 6400

Latest Airtricity News

Shock end to Eddie O’Connor’s Mainstream run after gaffe

May 27, 2021

Sign Up Despite resigning from his role at Mainstream, he is remaining as chairman of Supernode, the company he founded that’s planning to build a supergrid for transmitting renewable power in Europe. Aker acquired a 50pc stake in Supernode as part of the wider Mainstream transaction this year. Supernode was a sponsor of the Dublin Climate Dialogues, as was Mainstream, the Irish Times, KPMG and UCD. The comments by Mr O’Connor are a rare stain on what has been a career canvas that has spanned the public and private sector. The native of Elphin in Co Roscommon made about €50m from the €1.8bn sale of Airtricity to Scottish and Southern Electricity in 2008. It was to be just the first fortune made by Mr O’Connor, who was educated at Blackrock College in Dublin and then studied chemical engineering at UCD. A post at the ESB eventually saw him become fuel purchasing manager, gaining a doctorate along the way. When the CEO role at Bord na Mona became free, Mr O’Connor threw his hat in the ring. He was 40. He resigned the role nine years later after the now disgraced and then minister for communications and energy, Michael Lowry, queried Mr O’Connor’s expenses. Mr O’Connor claimed at the time that he’d been subjected to a concerted campaign to impugn his reputation. In 1997, he started Airtricity with a £25,000 (€32,000) loan from Bank of Ireland to get the renewable energy firm off the ground. Even when he made his first fortune from Airtricity, which had been backed by the Roche family’s NTR group, he quickly set about establishing Mainstream Renewable Power, ploughing about 90pc of his net worth into the venture. He set his sights high and wide, targeting wind and solar energy projects across the globe. His Airtricity pedigree opened funding doors, but there was still years of graft to scale Mainstream. But his perseverance paid off, culminating in this year’s sale to Aker. The deal includes a potential €100m earnout for selling shareholders in 2023 if certain milestones are met. Aker also plans to float the Mainstream Renewables business on the stock market within three years. Mainstream's current portfolio includes 1.4GW of power projects in operation or under construction, primarily made up of onshore wind and solar assets in Chile and South Africa. It also has an advanced pipeline of 700MW of projects that are expected to reach financial close this year, and more than 9GW of other development assets. But what should have been the crowning achievement of decades of hard work, is for now at least, overshadowed by Mr O’Connor’s comments at last week’s event and his resignation yesterday. For years, the entrepreneur has wanted to own a vineyard. But he lamented the high cost, pointing out that it would probably require about €100m. The Bordeaux region has been set firmly in his sights. "I have to buy my vineyard,” he told the Sunday Independent earlier this year. “ I have promised myself that for a long time, but I never had the loot to do it. But now I have.” He might also now have a lot more time to contemplate the changing seasons on the vines. Most Watched

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