Foresight Solar Fund takes first battery storage stake alongside JLEN

Foresight Solar Fund has acquired a 50% equity stake in Sandridge Battery Storage, which is developing a 50MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system in Melksham to be energised in October 2022. JLEN Environmental Assets Group will also acquire a 50% equity stake.

The battery,  adjacent to Sandridge’s solar farm, is Foresight’s first investment in battery storage following a change of investment policy approved by shareholders in February 2021. For JLEN it is the fourth investment in a  battery, adding to  two co-located batteries that it 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.

It will represent a total investment of up to £12.7 million (including construction costs) for each of the new owners .

The project is fully consented and construction ready. Its 49.9MW import and export connection will be shared with the Sandridge solar park already in operation, which Foresight said, “will not have an adverse impact on the Sandridge solar park or its operations”. The project will supply services  including frequency management (Dynamic Containment and other frequency services in the future), supply and demand via the Balancing Mechanism, volatility reduction and load-shifting through wholesale trading, and provision of capacity for peak demand via the Capacity Market.

Alex Ohlsson, chair of Foresight Solar Fund Limited, said: ” Diversification into battery storage systems will provide increased scale, diversification and operating efficiencies alongside the Company’s existing portfolio and should offer an additional source of attractive investment returns on a risk adjusted basis going forward”.

Richard Morse, Chairman of JLEN, said: “We are happy to announce JLEN’s latest investment into the energy storage market which is our second grid-scale battery project and the fourth asset to be added to JLEN’s portfolio of battery energy storage systems.  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.”

Further reading

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

Foresight and Belltown join forces to develop 300MW of onshore wind

Anesco picks up management for more solar sites

Foresight takes on advisory for £764 million of new assets

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