Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor has acquired a 45% stake in UK utility-scale energy storage and stability services developer Noriker Power.
As well as the equity investment, the two companies have agreed on a strategic cooperation, this will allow Equinor the opportunity to directly participate in projects that Noriker is maturing.
There is a opportunity to create profitable businesses by deploying battery and storage assets to meet the growing stabilisation needs in the power sector, Equinor stated. Additionally, deploying batteries in proximity to its current portfolio of offshore wind assets in the UK could enhance returns.
“Large-scale batteries can be charged when there is good access to low-cost electricity and discharged when supply is limited,” said Olav Kolbeinstveit, senior vice president for power and markets within Renewables at Equinor.
“This will enable businesses to establish profitable services around the need to balance markets, stabilise the electricity grid and improve security of supply. The UK’s high degree of renewables make the country an interesting investment case for a battery storage business.”
Noriker Power has developed and constructed over 250MW of battery storage across the UK, and has a near term pipeline in excess of 500MW of battery storage, hybrid energy and stability service projects.
The company, which is headquartered in Gloucester, is to use the investment from Equinor to enhance its project development platform. This will include engineering development, control systems innovation and algorithmic optimisation.
Equinor will buy the shares currently held by alternative asset management and investment group Gresham House Plc and its London Stock Exchange-listed Gresham House Energy Storage Fund Plc, which together own 15% of Noriker. Gresham House initially acquired a 5% stake in the battery developer in August 2019.
In April, Gresham House also acquired the 30MW Byers Brae project from Noriker, for a total value of £15.6 million (US$20.6 million), plus up to £0.35 million of deferred contingent consideration.
This story first appeared on Solar Power Portal.