International players Econergy, Catalyst Capital acquire 150MW of UK battery storage projects

By Alice Grundy
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Skelton Grange, the site for Catalyst Capital’s 100MW battery facility in Yorkshire, northern England. Image: Catalyst Capital.

Two battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in the county of Yorkshire, northern England, have been acquired by Catalyst Capital, a European real estate investor, and Israel-headquartered renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) Econergy Renewable Energy.

Last week, Econergy Renewable Energy said it has kicked off a 800MW pipeline of UK storage with the acquisition of a 50MW/100MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

This pipeline – which is to have an expected 1,600MWh capacity – is to be developed in two configurations, as co-location projects together with a 900MW solar PV pipeline and as standalone grid-support storage projects.

Its expected the total UK solar and storage pipeline will be operational by 2025.

The first project in this pipeline is the Swangate Energy Storage project, which Econergy has acquired in full from Yoo Energy. It is to be located in Yorkshire, with the BESS having received the necessary permits for development, including approval for grid connection.

Construction work is to begin this quarter, with the commercial operations date for the project expected to be early next year.

“This project will help us to become a key player in the UK storage market as we look to significantly expand our portfolio of projects under development in the coming months,” Eyal Podhorzer, Econergy’s CEO said.

Econergy’s entry into the UK market follows another the entry of another Israel-headquartered company, Nofar Energy. Nofar, which has partnered on Econergy in international renewable energy projects previously, has formed a joint venture (JV) with investment group Interland, targeting development of what the company claimed will be the UK’s biggest battery system with a capacity of around 700MWh as one of its first projects.

Earlier this month, Catalyst Capital said it has acquired a site, also in Yorkshire, for the development of a 100MW battery facility as part of its £300 million (US$409 million) battery storage strategy.

The leasehold interest in the brownfield site at the former Skelton Grange power station has been acquired from renewable energy developer Referent by Catalyst Energy Storage Platform (CESP).

Planning permission for the 100MW battery energy storage system (BESS) was granted last year, with the construction tendering process for the asset being managed by CESP’s engineering adviser Fitchner. It is expected to be operational in Q4 2022, and is to be part of a regional hub for renewable energy. It is adjacent to a 19.5 acre waste-to-energy facility currently under construction.

The 100MW Skelton BESS forms part of Catalyst’s £300 million diversified battery storage facility strategy, with the company having last year entered a joint venture with Dowling LLP to acquire a 50MW facility in Nursling, Southampton.

This energy storage site is expected to be fully operational in February, while Catalyst is in talks with investors to jointly fund the expansion of the battery storage platform.

Kean Hird, partner of Catalyst Capital, said that the company believes there is a compelling opportunity to deliver a portfolio of UK battery storage, with the sector “quickly gaining institutional status”.

“This portfolio will give our investors the opportunity to invest into a scalable market with high ESG credentials in the renewables sector,” Hird said.

Consultation opens for 500MW solar farm with energy storage

Meanwhile, a UK-headquartered renewable energy developer and investor, Low Carbon, has opened a consultation into its 500MW Gate Burton solar and energy storage park in Lincolnshire, in England’s East Midlands region.

It is expected to be one of two solar farms that will benefit from capacity availability at a nearby substation, due to the closure of EDF’s coal-fired Cottam Power Station in 2019. The other is a 600MW solar project being eyed by Island Green Power.

Along with the solar generation, Gate Burton will include an on-site energy storage system, which will provide balancing services, allowing generation to be stored when demand is low and exported when it is high.

Running from 11 January to the 18 February 2022, the local community is now invited to share their views on the proposed site, its layout and three broad route corridors it could use to connect to the national grid, as well as potential sustainable projects and initiatives it could support.

Low Carbon Gate Burton story by Molly Lempriere.

These items originally appeared as separate news stories on our UK site Solar Power Portal and have been edited or abbreviated for Energy-Storage.news.

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