UK Roundup: Shell solar-plus-storage drive, US$200m UK-Japanese joint venture, asset sales and pipelines

By Molly Lempriere, Alice Grundy
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A 30MW solar farm in Tennessee, US, by Silicon Ranch, a company which Shell acquired just over 43% of in 2018. Image: Stuart Conway/Shell.

8 October 2021: Shell signs frameworks for 800MW of solar with storage potential 

Shell and renewable energy developer Island Green Power have signed a framework agreement to develop utility-scale solar PV projects with co-located battery storage potential in the UK. Together they will target over 700MW of generating capacity.

Additionally, the company has partnered with Clearstone Energy to develop a number of utility-scale solar PV projects in the South-East of England, allowing generation close to customer demand. These will have a total combined export capacity of 100MW, with co-located storage potential.

“Shell is building an integrated power business which spans the renewable generation, trading and supply of clean energy to businesses and consumers,” said David Bunch, chairman of Shell UK. 

Shell’s UK solar projects would contribute to its global target of being a net zero emissions energy business by 2050, a key aspect of which is increasing renewable power generation. In February, it announced that it is to spend between £1.5 billion and £2.2 billion (US$2 billion and US$3 billion) on renewables and energy solutions annually to help reach net zero status by 2050.

By Molly Lempriere

To read the full version of this story visit Solar Power Portal

8 October 2021: UK’s Low Carbon Alliance, Japanese real estate group Kajima support ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ 

UK clean energy chartered surveying and engineering company Low Carbon Alliance Limited (LCA) and Japanese real estate investor Kajima Europe have formed a new joint venture targeting UK solar and storage.

This joint venture – named Taiyo Power and Storage Limited, with Taiyo meaning sun in Japanese – is to initially develop a portfolio of ground-mounted solar, solar and battery hybrid and standalone battery storage plants with a build-out value of £150 million (US$203 million).

These projects are currently in the early development stage in England, Scotland and Wales, and mark Kajima’s entrance into the UK solar and battery storage market.

Kajima and LCA also have a fully funded rooftop solar offer for the public and private sector.

“We believe that moving into the solar and battery storage market is not only about making a long-term investment but also about taking responsibility and supporting the Green Industrial Revolution,” Chris Gill, projects & investment director at Kajima, said.

By Alice Grundy

To read the full version of this story, visit Solar Power Portal

ILI Group has now developed and sold 200MW of battery energy storage in the UK. Image: ILI Group.

7 October 2021: Solar investor Bluefield adds storage to pipeline amid earnings jump

UK investment company Bluefield Solar Income Fund is celebrating a jump in earnings in a year that also saw an increase in debt and a drop in share price.

The company recorded underlying earnings pre amortisation of debt of £48.6 million, rising from £44.6 million in 2019/20, with a total operating income of £25,921,639.

Bluefield’s total outstanding debt during the period also rose to c.£340.4 million, however, with its leverage level standing at c.37% of gross asset value (GAV), which it said was in line with the range previously outlined as desirable of between 35% and 45%. This followed a series of acquisitions as well as an equity raise of £105.1 million.

Meanwhile, the company’s share price declined from 134.5p at 30 June 2020 to 121.4p at 30 June 2021, with this largely due to a de-rating of the renewable generation sector following heavy issuance. Since June the share price has recovered marginally, Bluefield said.

The company also recorded a net asset value (NAV) of £471.4 million, an increase on the £433.5 million from the year before.

Bluefield’s operational portfolio now consists of 106 PV plants with a total capacity of 613MWp. Its total pipeline now stands at 593MWp of solar, with 81MWp currently in planning and a further 254MWp close to submission and 179MWp of battery projects, of which a co-located 19MWp project is in planning.

“We are pleased with the strong earnings performance in the period despite covering a particularly challenging time for the energy markets due to the turbulence caused by COVID-19,” John Rennocks, chairman of Bluefield Solar, said. 

By Alice Grundy 

To read the full version of this story, visit Solar Power Portal

7 October 2021: Loch Ness pumped storage developer ILI finances 200MW of UK battery storage

Scottish clean energy developer ILI Group has announced the sale of another battery storage asset. The 50MW Fordtown battery storage project in Kintore, Aberdeeshire has been sold to Eelpower, an energy storage asset investor and operator, for an undisclosed sum.

Mark Wilson, ILI Group CEO, said the company was delighted to conclude the deal, adding, “this is our second battery storage deal to conclude this month, taking the total of funded projects to 200MW. We have another 150MW that will be ready for tender this year”.

The sale is the fourth battery storage transaction managed by TLT for the ILI Group in the last year, and follows hot on the heels of the sale of the 50MW Nairn project to the Foresight Group in September. In March, it sold its 50MW utility-scale battery project in Fife, Scotland, to Abbey Group Cambridgeshire and YooGen1 in March.

ILI Group has developed and funded 200MW of battery storage projects, and has a further 800MW being prepared for market over 2021-22. In addition to this 1GW of battery storage, the company is looking to develop 3GW of pumped hydro storage.

In June it managed to gain approval for a 450MW pumped hydro plant on the shores of the iconic Loch Ness to forward this ambition.

Eelpower meanwhile has also been working to expand its portfolio, signing a joint venture with NextEnergy Solar Fund in September to develop up to 250MW of battery energy storage assets.

In January, the company had also signed a joint venture with SUSI Partners for a 1GW UK energy storage platform, which this new acquisition will fall within.

By Molly Lempriere 

To read the full version of this story, visit Solar Power Portal

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