JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) and Foresight Solar Fund (FSFL) have reached acquired 50% equity stakes in Sandridge Battery Storage (SBSL). SBSL holds the development rights to construct the Sandridge Battery Storage project, a 50MW lithium-ion battery energy storage plant. based in Melksham in Wiltshire, UK. JLEN and FSFL, both of whom are managed by Foresight, will each invest up to £12.7m.
JLEN’s second grid-scale battery project and FSFL’s first battery storage asset
The Sandridge project is fully consented and construction ready. The announcement notes that the project is expected to reach energisation and start commercial operations in October 2022.
The project will be connected to Southern Electric Power Distribution plc’s distribution network and has a 49.9MW import and export connection. The project will provide stability to the grid through provision of Dynamic Containment, or by reducing volatility on the system via wholesale trading in the wholesale power markets and/or the Balancing Mechanism, a tool used by the National Grid to balance supply and demand in real-time.
This acquisition represents JLEN’s fourth investment into battery storage systems, adding to the two co-located batteries that the company owns as part of its run-of-river hydro portfolio, as well as the standalone West Gourdie project in Scotland, which was acquired in March 2021. The acquisition marks FSFL’s first investment into battery storage systems following the change of investment policy, which was approved by shareholders in February 2021 (click here to read more on this).
Richard Morse, JLEN’s chairman, said: “We believe that assets such as these will provide a vital balancing mechanism to the grid that will aid in the rollout of intermittently generating renewable energy systems and play an important role in the decarbonisation agenda of the national grid.”
FSFL also announced a £25m extension of its RCF
FSFL also announced a £25m extension of the revolving credit facility (RCF) provided by NatWest, on identical margins as the original facility. The RCF extension will mature on 31 March 2022. Following this extension, FSFL’s total RCF pool will represent £130m, of which £47m remains undrawn.
[The National Grid’s Dynamic Containment Service has further strengthened the investment case behind battery storage. Foresight Solar has taken a lead amongst the existing renewable energy funds in making a significant commitment to battery. We will probably see more pooling of resources for battery investments by JLEN and Foresight Solar going forward.]
JLEN/FSFL: JLEN Environmental Assets and Foresight Solar team-up in grid-scale battery investment