Investor Gresham House raises US$160m for six new UK battery storage projects

By Alice Grundy, Molly Lempriere
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Gresham House has just acquired the 50MW / 74MWh Wickham battery storage project (pictured) for £32.75 million. Image: Gresham House Energy Storage Fund.

London Stock Exchange-listed investor Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £120 million (US$159.86 million) to finance six new energy storage projects.

These new near-term acquisitions – totalling 245MW – are part of its c.485MW new pipeline, although small amounts of the funds will go towards existing energy storage projects. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund – listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol GRID – is one of two listed funds in the UK investing in utility-scale energy storage projects focused on batteries, the other being Gore Street Capital. 

The latest funding came from an initial placing and initial offer for subscription, both of which launched on 10 November. They form part of a new share issuance programme to be conducted over the next year, which will finance the full c.485MW portfolio.

A total of 114,285,714 ordinary shares at 1p each have been issued from this latest offering, with Gresham House stating that due to the level of demand seen a scaling back exercise has been undertaken with respect to applicants received pursuant to the placing and offer for subscription.

Ben Guest, lead fund manager and head of Gresham House New Energy, said the company is “delighted with the outcome of the fundraise”, particularly as it comes at a time when the UK is helping to “set the pace globally for the transition to a zero-carbon future”.

“With additional renewable generation capacity comes the requirement for more energy storage to achieve a cost-effective energy transition, and our new pipeline will help meet this need.”

This is Gresham House's largest fundraise to date, having previously raised £15 million through issuing a mix of short and medium-term secured power bonds as well as £31.2 million in an oversubscribed share placing.

However, prior to this, Gresham House fell short of a £58 million target in a share placing that saw it raise £41.6 million, with this funding also going towards acquisitions.

By Alice Grundy.

Fund acquires 50MW project

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund (GRID) has completed the acquisition of the 50MW Wickham battery project for £32.75 million.

It is located near Wickham Market in Suffolk, and has c.50MW/40MW export/import capacity, and 74MWh storage capacity. It is already connected to the distribution network, and a number of commissioning tests have been successfully completed.

Wickham will trade within the wholesale market, in National Grid’s firm frequency response (FFR) ancillary service tenders and the Balancing Mechanism, which the system operator uses to match supply and demand on the network. Additionally, since energisation it has provided frequency response in the newly-launched Dynamic Containment ancillary service market.

The acquisition brings the company’s portfolio up to 315MW, and follows closely on the heels of GRID’s investment in the 50MW / 75MWh Thurcroft battery storage site – currrently the UK's largest operational battery storage project. 

John Leggate CBE, chair of GRID, celebrated the 20% operational capacity boost from the acquisition, just weeks after Thurcroft began supplying balancing services to National Grid.

“These two utility-scale power storage units are among the largest facilities in the UK and will deliver significant incremental revenues to support our target returns. This is clearly a material contribution to enhancing the stability of the grid, and also supports the acceleration of the expansion of UK’s renewable power generation fleet.”

Wickham was acquired from Gresham House Devco and Noriker Power, and brings GRID’s total number of operational utility-scale battery storage projects up to 12.

Lead fund manager Ben Guest said Gresham House was “delighted to complete this acquisition so soon after our successful £120 million fundraising last week, allowing the team to focus efforts on our pipeline opportunities”. 

By Molly Lempriere. 

This story first appeared as two separate items on our sister site Solar Power Portal

The sixth annual Energy Storage Summit hosted by Solar Media takes place in February and March 2021. See the event's website for more details

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