Eelpower and NextEnergy Solar Fund, the specialist solar and energy storage climate impact fund with a combined installed power capacity of 865MW, are pleased to announce it has acquired the development rights, permits, and initial grid milestones for a 250MW portfolio of high-quality battery storage projects and grid connections, located in the East of England. The acquisition means that the standalone battery storage in NESF’s joint venture partnership with Eelpower has reached 300MW.
Once constructed, the project will provide vital grid balancing services whilst harnessing excess electricity generation from wind at low import prices and then exporting electricity at times of low generation and high prices. The project has secured planning permission and grid connection rights.
The project is a two-hour (500MWh) duration system and is expected to be energised in 2025, targeting an asset life of at least 50 years.
Mark Simon, CEO of Eelpower said: “Once energised, the project will significantly contribute to increasing the UK’s energy independence and will help accelerate the increased penetration of renewable energy in the UK.”
Kevin Lyon, Chairman of NextEnergy Solar Fund commented: “This acquisition of development rights adds significantly to NESF’s participation in the UK battery storage investment space. The project will take our battery storage programme up to a capacity of 300MW, showing how NESF has been able to secure a significant development pipeline of storage projects in a short timeframe. NESF offers investors a unique investment opportunity, making a real difference in the transition to net zero.”
Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of NextEnergy Group said: “The project will provide crucial grid balancing services for a congested area in the UK, helping manage the ebbs and flows of renewable energy generation and nationwide demand for electricity. For NESF, it is a site that adds to its burgeoning exposure to UK battery storage, a sector where we, as the investment advisor, see enormous growth potential with synergies to NESF’s current solar portfolio. We look forward to constructing this project by 2025 and to operating it for decades into the future.”
Full construction of the project remains subject to NESF shareholder and FCA approval due to NESF’s existing investment policy on energy storage.