A new £200 million joint venture partnership (JVP2) has been created by NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF), with Eelpower expanding its ownership to 75% and Eelpower maintaining the remaining 25%.
JVP2 is distinct from the current, £100 million JVP1 launched last year.
In Fife, Scotland, NESF is currently building its first 50MW battery storage project through JVP1, which is anticipated to be powered up and connected to the grid in the first half of 2023.
The long-term equity growth strategy of NESF includes energy storage, which is still a top strategic priority for the organisation.
Through JVP1 and JVP2, JVP2 gives NESF a “unique opportunity” to pursue a pipeline of over 500MW (£300m) battery energy storage possibilities that are already under exclusivity. JVP2 “significantly increases” NESF’s position in the UK battery storage market.
Due to the company’s current investment policy, which limits investments into energy storage to 10% of gross asset value, full use of both JVP1 and JVP2 remains subject to shareholder and FCA clearance.
In order to allow the Company to fully take advantage of the energy storage development prospects open to the fund, NextEnergy Capital, the investment manager and advisor for NESF, will be in touch with investors over the coming months to seek support for raising this restriction.
The partnership with Eelpower, which has a track record and experience in the delivery, management, and optimization of battery storage assets in the UK, continues to be advantageous for the company.
The storage assets will receive EPC and continuing specialised asset management services from Eelpower.
Chairman of NextEnergy Solar Fund, Kevin Lyon, said “Battery storage is a vital technology in increasing the penetration of renewables in the UK.”
“NESF has made excellent progress expanding and diversifying into this technology through its relationship with Eelpower.”
“NESF has created a unique opportunity to become a key player in this space, whilst enhancing the existing portfolio of solar assets.”
“Pending shareholder and FCA approval, NESF can further diversify and offer investors continued exciting growth prospects.”