LONDON: Gresham House Energy Storage Fund, Great Britain’s largest operational battery storage fund, announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 41MW operational energy storage facility known as Bloxwich from a group of investors led by Arenko Cleantech.
This project was previously disclosed by GRID as the ‘Potential Acquisition’. The acquisition increases the total capacity of operational utility scale battery storage projects in the Fund’s investment portfolio to 215MW.
The facility is located on the Bloxwich Industrial estate in Walsall in the West Midlands and was developed by Arenko and utilises their leading battery software and controls platform. Post-acquisition, Arenko will continue to operate and optimise Bloxwich, which has been acquired by the Fund for an initial value of £20.1 million, with further potential earnout payments.
Bloxwich was commissioned in July 2019 and operates in the Balancing Mechanism, European Power Exchange (EPEX) and other ancillary services markets, such as frequency response. In mid-May 2020, it was used to provide upward and downward reserve flexibility to National Grid in the UK’s first-of-its-kind trial using an energy storage system (ESS).
Existing upward and downward reserve services are typically provided by large Combined Cycle Gas Turbines and other thermal generation at a significant financial and carbon emissions cost to the UK grid. In essence, an ESS provides an exciting, more cost-effective source of grid flexibility and these systems are likely to be central to a zero-carbon emissions grid of the future.
John Leggate CBE, Chair of Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc commented: “Bloxwich is a further step forward in our ambitions to build Great Britain’s essential renewable power storage infrastructure. We’re pleased to welcome Arenko, as one of our partners, to support operational management and trading optimisation at Bloxwich. With the operational portfolio now over 200MW for the first time, we continue to make progress executing on our 2020 plan, and we look forward to updating our shareholders.”
Ben Guest, Fund Manager, Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc said: “We are delighted to have completed this acquisition. Arenko is one of only a handful of innovative and technically-capable operators and optimisers of energy storage systems in the market, as demonstrated by their recent announcements. We look forward to working with them as the market burgeons in Great Britain.”
Rupert Newland, CEO and Founder of Arenko Group, added: “This is a transformational deal for Arenko as it marks our transition from an asset owner to a software service provider. We see batteries and other flexible assets playing a meaningful role in the energy transition and believe intelligent AI software platforms will be a crucial enabler to unlock value from batteries globally. We look forward to working with Gresham House in helping them maximise the value of their assets in the future.”