Foresight Solar to enter storage market, plans £100M investment in co-located PV + battery on existing and greenfield sites

Foresight Solar Fund is to add co-located battery storage to some of its UK operating PV sites and look for new combined sites, in a change of investment strategy. The fund said it had identified “several sites with available land and grid capacity” and the market for greenfield co-location “is expected to represent an attractive opportunity in the future as a significant contributor to the transition to low-carbon energy”. Shareholders have agreed an allocation 10% of gross asset value to battery systems, initially focused on the UK market. GAV at the end of 2020 stood at £1,054.6M.

The news came in a trading update where Foresight also said that electricity generation from its UK portfolio was 8.4% above budget last year, as a result of high irradiation and asset availability, despite the operational challenges of Covid-19. The UK portfolio is now well-established and operating in a ‘steady state’, it said.

The shutdown of UK heavy and commercial industry during the first lockdown led to a sharp fall in power prices in the second quarter of 2020 but Foresight said it met its dividend target for the year as a result of the strategic decision to maintain a high proportion of fixed revenues linked to government subsidies and fixed price arrangements in the short and medium term. When prices recovered in the last few months of 2020, it increased the percentage of energy sales under fixed price arrangements for 2021 and 2022.

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