The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Quinbrook closes US$750 million fund for UK renewables including BESS, solar and synchronous condensers

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Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has raised £620 million (US$750 million) for a UK-focused renewables fund, with solar, storage and flexibility assets a key focus.

The level of investor commitments exceeded the initial £500 million target, Quinbrook said yesterday (2 October). It is the investment firm’s third managed fund and was marketed exclusively to UK institutional investors, it said.

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The portfolio includes a range of assets with long-term inflation linked contracts with bankable counter-parties such as transmission system operator (TSO) National Grid and the UK Government. This includes the Pathfinder programme, the Contracts for Difference programme and the Capacity Market.

Over 60% of the modelled portfolio is either operational or under construction.

This includes Cleve Hill, the largest solar and battery storage project in the UK which pairs 373MW of PV and a 150MW+ battery energy storage system (BESS), and the 230MW/460MWh Uskmouth BESS it acquired the project rights for last year.

The portfolio also includes five synchronous condenser units, one in Wales and four in Scotland, which provide grid stability services to National Grid.

On top of the projects, Quinbrook acquired BESS optimisation firm Habitat Energy in 2021. Energy-Storage.news recently interviewed Habitat’s co-founder Ben Irons about challenges for optimisation firms.

Mark Burrows, Quinbrook’s Head of Europe, Capital Formation and Investor Engagement said: “Strong macro tailwinds are supporting QRIF’s investment strategy, with the confluence of societal will, political imperatives which are cross party in the UK and fundamental economics driving decarbonisation of power.”

The investor is also active elsewhere, most notably developing the Gemini solar-plus-storage project in Nevada, US, which has one of the largest BESS installations in the world at 380MW/1,416MWh. It sold a stake in the project to a Dutch asset manager, APG, this time last year.

Quinbrook’s completed fund commitment comes a week after the UK’s prime minister Rishi Sunak rolled back several net zero timelines including the end of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales from 2030 to 2035.

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