Gresham House acquires two operational battery storage facilities for£29.2 million

LONDON: Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has acquired two operational battery storage facilities totalling 50MW from VLC Energy for £29.2 million. The acquisition increases the total capacity of operational utility-scale battery storage projects in the Fund’s investment portfolio to 125MW.

The facilities comprise a 40MW facility at Glassenbury, Kent, and a 10MW facility at Cleator Moor, Cumbria that were commissioned in January 2018.

The plants are two of the UK’s largest energy storage facilities. Their combined 50MW capacity represents a quarter of National Grid’s 2016 Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) capacity.

The acquisition increases the total capacity of operational utility-scale battery storage projects in the Fund’s portfolio to 125MW, this figure increasing to 174MW when the previously announced acquisition of the 49MW project, located at the Red Scar Business Park, is included. The Red Scar facility is currently undergoing commissioning, with the acquisition expected to complete in the near future.

Both Glassenbury and Cleator achieved ‘G59’ commissioning in late 2017 and have EFR contracts to January 2022 awarded following National Grid’s 2016 EFR auction and provide sub-second responses to frequency deviations on the national grid. These facilities also benefit from 15-year 2016 Capacity Market contracts. The facilities are backed by 30-year site leases (c.28 years remaining).

In addition, the 40MW Glassenbury facility has significant potential to offer Reactive Power (RP) revenue earning services, thanks to its location.

Separately, and in addition to the completion of the Red Scar acquisition, the Fund also expects to acquire a further three projects; two of 50MW each and the Littlebrook extension of 5MW in the coming months, once they are commissioned and operational. This will see the Fund’s total operational portfolio increase to c.279MW. It is currently possible that commencement of operations of the two larger projects slips into early Q2 2020 if winter conditions prove unaccommodating to a smooth construction process.

John Leggate CBE, Chairman of Gresham House Energy Storage plc said: “We are delighted to follow our successful £41.6million fundraise in October with the acquisition of these operational facilities from VLC Energy. We are pleased with progress since our IPO 13 months ago, and this marks the third acquisition since the Seed Assets were purchased at IPO. This takes the Fund’s operational portfolio to 125MW and with a strong pipeline of acquisitions yet to follow.”

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