Clearstone Energy has completed the sale of two Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”) projects in the South of England to Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners (“FEIP”), Foresight Group’s flagship private markets energy transition fund. Sundon BESS is a 49.5 MW project North of London that will connect under the National Grid’s Energy Park initiative. Warley BESS is a 57MW project on the outskirts of London.
Both sites have grid connection dates in 2024 and, together, will store enough electricity to power 215,000 homes for up to two hours, helping the UK energy system to meet peaks in demand and maximise generation from renewable energy assets. The acquisitions add to Foresight Group’s growing portfolio of storage assets further strengthening its position in the UK market.
“Large scale wind and solar farms are now generating electricity at half the cost of gas fired power stations. While climate change was the catalyst for the development of renewable energy in the UK, the transition now also brings the promise of lower costs for consumers,” said Ben Pratt, Founder of Clearstone Energy. “These sites and the ones that follow them will enable the UK to take the next step on its journey to a cleaner, lower cost and more secure energy system. The transition from gas-fired power generation to meet the daily peaks in electricity demand to battery energy storage and more renewable energy generation.”
BESS projects are a critical component of integrated, deeply decarbonised power systems and overall progress towards net zero in the UK. Renewable energy from wind and solar generation contributed over 30% of the UK’s electricity supply in 20221. However, without sufficient electricity storage in the UK, renewable energy generation is taken offline at times when supply exceeds demand, referred to as curtailment, and gas-fired power stations are brought online to meet periods when demand exceeds supply. In 2022 the curtailment of wind generation in the UK not only cost up to £62 million a day2 in guaranteed generation payments to wind farm operators but also saw clean, low-cost renewable electricity go to waste.
Both projects will be built on land owned by National Grid adjacent to substations on its nationwide high voltage transmission network. The Sundon project will be one of the first sites to connect under the National Grid’s Energy Park programme. This innovative partnership between National Grid and renewable energy developers is designed to quickly and cost-effectively add battery storage to the transmission network to capture the full potential of existing renewable energy generation assets.
The Sundon project is located close to Luton, 25 miles north of London. The site is adjacent to the National Grid 400kV substation at Sundon on the high voltage transmission line between offshore wind generation in the North of England and the distribution circuit that supplies electricity to London.
The Warley project is located at Upminster on the outskirts of East London. The site is adjacent to the National Grid 275kV substation at Warley and will connect directly to the London electricity distribution circuit.
Fuad Yusibov, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight Group, commented: “Battery storage plays a crucial role in supporting the energy transition, a key theme for the next couple of decades. We are pleased to have acquired these projects, which will provide further resilience and stability to the grid amid growing energy security concerns.”
About Clearstone Energy
Clearstone Energy is developing the large-scale renewable energy generation and battery storage sites needed to deliver a cleaner, lower cost and more secure UK energy system. Our sites are strategically located and sized to make the maximum contribution to modernising the UK’s electricity network to support the transition to low carbon electricity, transportation and heating. Our development philosophy is one that puts people – farmers, landowners and local communities – and the enhancement of natural ecosystems at the heart of the projects that will rewire the UK to provide clean and reliable electricity for all.
About Foresight Group
Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 350 infrastructure assets with a focus on low-carbon energy infrastructure including renewable energy generation, flexibility infrastructure such as energy storage and connectivity infrastructure in the form of investments into the grid itself. The team also invests in natural capital themes – in particular in sustainable forestry – and social and core infrastructure. Its private equity team manages eleven regionally focused investment funds across the UK and an SME impact fund supporting Irish SMEs. This team reviews over 2,500 business plans each year and currently supports more than 250 investments in SMEs. Foresight Capital Management manages four strategies across seven investment vehicles with an AUM of £1.3 billion. Foresight operates in eight countries across Europe, Australia and United States with AUM of £12.2 billion*.
Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London in February 2021. https://www.foresightgroup.eu/shareholders
*Based on Foresight Group unaudited AUM as at 31 March 2023.
For more information:
Simon Rothwell, Clearstone Energy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07769 747420
Michael Mpofu: Michael.Mpofu@citigatedewerogerson.com, +44 (0)79 326 81947
1 National Grid ESO, Britain’s Electricity Explained: 2022 Review https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/britains-electricity-explained-2022-review
2 National Audit Office Report, Decarbonising the power sector, March 2023 https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/decarbonising-the-power-sector-summary.pdf