Canadian Solar has announced that it has completed the sale of two fully-permitted solar and battery energy storage projects in the UK to specialist alternative asset manager, Gresham House.
The two projects comprise a collocated solar and battery energy storage project in Durham, UK, with 50 MWp solar capacity and 38 MW (or 76 MWh) of battery energy storage, and a standalone solar project in Warwickshire of 28 MWp.
Both parties aim to continue to prioritise collocated renewable projects, where the solar PV and battery energy storage plants are built together and share the same grid connection infrastructure. These projects provide both economic advantages, particularly in the form of shared capital and operating costs, as well as significant benefits to the UK grid by improving system reliability, enabling greater integration of renewables and thereby helping the UK economy meet its net zero carbon 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.
The projects are entirely subsidy-free, consistent with Canadian Solar’s long pipeline of UK opportunities under development.
Both projects are fully permitted and construction-ready. Canadian Solar will continue to be involved in the projects, being responsible for the long-term operations and maintenance activities.
Gresham House New Energy invests in clean energy projects harnessing battery energy storage, solar, and wind technologies. The team has a proven track record in acquiring and managing projects throughout their development, construction, and operational phases, with a total capacity of 0.7 GW currently operating in the UK.
Canadian Solar is active in the UK renewables market with a 1.8 GWp photovoltaic (PV) solar and 4.3 GWh battery energy storage pipeline under development. Canadian Solar also has significant track record in this market, having developed and interconnected to the grid a total capacity of 200 MWp. This transaction is consistent with Canadian Solar’s growth strategy in the UK and broader Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, which combines an increasing retention of strategic long-term ownership with the execution of strategic sales of selected portfolios in partnership with top tier investors.
Dr Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar’s Chairman and CEO, commented: “The execution of this transaction demonstrates again our expertise in battery energy storage development and proves the recognised value of our fast-growing pipeline in the UK, one of Canadian Solar’s core markets in EMEA. This sale represents our very first collocated solar and battery energy storage project successfully delivered in the UK. Our decision to sell the two projects before construction is primarily aimed at obtaining immediate market recognition and it does not preclude Canadian Solar from building, alone or in partnerships, the next projects developed in the UK or in EMEA. We are pleased to partner with Gresham House, whose undisputed position as the UK’s leading investor in battery energy storage certifies the strong appreciation of our project development and O&M capabilities, strengthening our position and strategy in the UK.”
Peter Bolton, Investment Director, Renewable Energy at Gresham House, said: “We are excited by the opportunity to expand our portfolio of subsidy-free renewables and to secure further collocated solar and battery energy storage assets. Gresham House is a long-established investor in both renewables and battery energy storage, and we believe in the strong economic case for collocating the technologies on the same site. This reflects a UK-wide requirement for more renewables capacity and for battery energy storage to support the grid system as further intermittent renewable generation is added.
“It is great to formalise our relationship with Canadian Solar. Their strong reputation across the solar and battery energy storage supply chain, combined with development-stage track record, means we hope to complete further transactions together in the future.”
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