Bluefield Solar buys 80MW BESS for £4.5 million

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London-listed solar and storage investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund has acquired two 40MW battery energy storage system (BESS) projects for £4.5 million (US$5.7 million).

Bluefield Solar has bought the development rights, grid connection and leasehold for the two standalone projects from Green Hedge Energy UK, an energy storage developer.

Construction on the sites, which are in Derbyshire and Worcestershire, is expected to start this year. Both are fully consented and benefit from near-term grid connections, Bluefield said in today’s (May 23) announcement.

John Rennocks, chairman of Bluefield Solar, commented: “Energy storage has a key role in supporting the decarbonisation of the electricity system in Great Britain. Once operational, it is intended the assets will be able to participate in a variety of valuable services to support the grid and to enable the Company to further diversify its revenue streams.”

Bluefield Solar Income Fund launched in 2013 but only began to diversify into energy storage last year. It started with the acquisition of colocated site in Lincolnshire in August followed by a 20MW standalone project in Liverpool in February this year, as covered by‘ sister site Solar Power Portal.

All three storage deals by Bluefield have been project rights acquisitions with a 2022 construction date. February’s acquisition from Shaw-Energi equated to a price/MW of £75,000 (US$95,000) while today’s deal comes in slightly lower at £56,250 (US$70,000).

Speaking at Solar Media’s Energy Storage Summit 2022 in London in February, Bluefield Partners’ investment director Jan Libicek said there was an increasing focus in the market towards standalone storage, although colocation would always have the benefit of saving on capex (Bluefield Partners is the investment advisor to the Bluefield Solar Income Fund).

Figures from Solar Media’s UK Battery Storage Projects Database show that the proportion of the UK energy storage market that is colocated is going to increase over time based on the development pipeline. Less than 10% of operational BESS is paired with wind or solar compared to a fifth of the 38GW pipeline.

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