4 May 2021
Foresight Solar Fund Limited
Acquisition of First Battery Storage Asset
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Foresight Solar Fund Limited is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 50% equity stake in Sandridge Battery Storage Limited ("SBSL"). SBSL holds the development rights to construct the Sandridge Battery Storage project, a 50MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system based in Melksham, UK, adjacent to the Sandridge solar park which is already owned by the Company.
The acquisition marks the Company's first investment into Battery Storage Systems following the change of Investment Policy which was approved by shareholders in February 2021. It will represent a total investment of up to £12.7 million (including construction costs) and will be funded using the Company's existing revolving credit facilities. The investment has been made alongside JLEN Environmental Assets Group Limited ("JLEN") which will also acquire a 50% equity stake.
The Sandridge battery storage project is fully consented and construction ready. The project will be connected to Southern Electric Power Distribution plc's distribution network and has a 49.9MW import and export connection. The distribution network point of connection will be shared with the Sandridge solar park already in operation. The sharing of grid connection infrastructure will not have an adverse impact on the Sandridge solar park or its operations. Energisation and commercial operations are scheduled to commence in October 2022. The project will add stability and strength to the grid in multiple ways, which include frequency management (Dynamic Containment and other frequency services in the future), supply/demand management via Balancing Mechanism, volatility reduction and load-shifting through wholesale trading, and provision of capacity for peak demand via Capacity Market.
The Company also announces a £25 million extension of the revolving credit facility provided by NatWest, on identical margins as the original facility. The revolving credit facility extension will mature on 31 March 2022. Following this extension, the Company's total revolving credit facilities will represent £130 million, of which £47 million remains undrawn. Future utilisations of the Company's revolving credit facilities will remain subject to the gearing restrictions included in the Company's investment policy.
The extension of the revolving credit facility will provide the Company with additional flexibility to pursue further investments into solar and battery storage systems in the UK and internationally.
Alex Ohlsson, Chairman of Foresight Solar Fund Limited, said:
"Battery Storage Systems are a complementary and exciting new growth area for Foresight Solar and we are delighted to have acquired a significant stake in the 50MW Sandridge Battery Storage project, the first of our investments in this asset class. Diversification into BSS will provide increased scale, diversification and operating efficiencies alongside the Company's existing portfolio and should offer an additional source of attractive investment returns on a risk adjusted basis going forward".
For further information, please contact:
+44 (0)20 3667 8147
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
+44 (0)20 7638 9571