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Canadian Solar Inc. freshly announced that it sold two fully-permitted UK solar and battery storage projects to Gresham House, a specialist alternative asset manager.
These two projects include a Durham-based collocated solar/battery energy storage project with 50 MWp solar power and 38 MW (or 76 MWh of) battery energy storage. A standalone Warwickshire solar project of 28 MWp is also included.
Both sides want to keep prioritizing collocated renewable projects. This is where solar PV and battery storage plants are built together and share the same infrastructure. These projects offer both economic benefits, especially in terms of shared capital and operating cost and significant benefits to UK grid reliability. They allow for greater integration of renewables and help the UK achieve its net-zero emissions targets.
The project in Durham is Canadian Solar’s first collocated solar PV and battery energy storage project in the UK and it represents the second collocated solar and battery energy storage project acquired by Gresham House.
These projects are completely free of subsidies, in keeping with Canadian Solar’s long-term pipeline of UK opportunities. Both of the projects are fully approved and ready for construction. Canadian Solar will remain involved in both projects and will be responsible for long-term operations as well as maintenance activities.
Gresham House New Energy invests on clean energy projects that harness solar, wind and battery energy storage. With a combined capacity of 0.7 GW, the UK, Gresham House New Energy has a track record of successfully acquiring and managing projects through their construction, and operational phases.
Canadian Solar is actively involved in the UK’s renewables market, with a 1.8GWp PV solar array and a 4.3GWh battery storage pipeline underdevelopment. Canadian Solar has a strong track record in this market. They have interconnected a total of 200 MWp to the grid. This transaction aligns with Canadian Solar’s growth strategy for the UK and wider Europe, Middle East and Africa region. It combines strategic long-term ownership and strategic sales to select portfolios in partnership of top tier investors.
Canadian Solar’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu commented, “The execution this transaction demonstrates once again our expertise and proves the recognized importance of our fast growing pipeline in the UK. This is one of Canadian Solar’s core markets in EMEA. This is our first successful co-located solar and storage project in the UK. The intention of selling the two projects prior to construction was to gain immediate market recognition. It does not prevent Canadian Solar from building the next projects in the UK or EMEA. Gresham House is our proud partner, as they have the undisputed UK position of being the largest investor in battery storage. This confirms our strong appreciation for our project development and O&M capabilities. This strengthens our position and strategy in the UK.”
Peter Bolton is Gresham House’s Investment Director for Renewable Energy. He said that he was excited about the chance to increase our portfolio of subsidy-free renewables and to acquire more collocated solar and storage assets. Gresham House has been a long-standing investor in renewables and battery storage. We believe there is strong economic justification for locating these technologies on the same site. This is due to the UK’s growing need for additional renewable capacity as well as for storage of battery energy to help support the grid system in case intermittent renewable generation increases.
It is great to establish a relationship with Canadian Solar. We hope to continue our transactions with Canadian Solar due to their strong reputation in the solar and battery storage supply chain. They also have a track record of developing-stage companies.