Eelpower Limited has acquired the recently-completed 20MW Rock Farm battery storage scheme from Anesco for an undisclosed sum.
Eelpower is an independent provider of flexible energy services and has multiple long-term Firm Frequency Response (FFR) contracts from the National Grid. The acquisition of Rock Farm is one of a number that Eelpower plans to complete between now and 2022 to deliver 1GW of storage capacity, at an estimated cost of £500m.
The Rock Farm scheme, one of the country’s largest energy storage schemes, is located near Ludlow (Shropshire) and connected into the local grid, owned and operated by Western Power Distribution. Rock Farm, comprising 16 1.25MW BYD-manufactured storage units, was developed and constructed by Anesco and commissioned by the company in June 2018.
Rock Farm will be monitored by Anesco’s specialist O&M service, AnescoMeter, and linked to Limejump’s Virtual Power Plant offering to ensure it generates maximum returns for Eelpower through a number of different revenue streams including FFR and wholesale trading. Rock Farm is Eelpower’s seventh project in its stable of energy storage assets. Eelpower is funded by Gravis Capital and private investors.
In November 2017, Eelpower acquired a 10MW storage unit at Leverton in Lincolnshire which was also developed and constructed by Anesco. Earlier this year, the company – with the support of Anesco – co-located storage units at two low-head river hydro schemes in Yorkshire, the first time in the UK that battery storage has been deployed alongside hydropower schemes. Over the past 10 months, Eelpower and Anesco have worked together on energy storage projects with a total capacity of 33MW.
Eelpower has also acquired two storage schemes that will be commissioned later this year – a 10MW scheme near Winchester and an 8MW scheme in Cumbria. The company has plans to construct up to 80MW of electricity storage capacity over the next 6-8 months, with a further 100MW every 3-6 six months.
Mark Simon, Chief Executive of Eelpower Ltd: “With the transition to a flexible, decentralised energy system moving at pace, Eelpower is responding to the market opportunity. We intend to deploy significant battery capacity – 1GW by 2022, to provide National Grid and local grid companies with the flexibility that the system needs while building a platform for us to profitably trade electricity. Our working relationship with Anesco has been invaluable, helping us to take advantage of the opportunities in the storage market.”
Steve Shine, Anesco executive chairman, said: “We have now developed a number of highly successful projects with Eelpower and our teams work very well together. Anesco’s role in this market is now growing at pace thanks to our unique ability to model long term revenue streams and prove the financial viability of energy storage for investors like Eelpower. This project is a good example of the sort of profitable, large-scale project we are now focussed on.
As the UK’s largest and most established energy storage developer, we’ve been able to create the industry’s most accurate modelling tool. It can be used to predict whole life cost, IRR and long-term revenue streams – all crucial information that sets us apart from every other developer in the country. Anesco’s pipeline is strong and continues to grow, as investors increasingly recognise the energy storage opportunity.”
Anesco currently has 29 operational sites, comprising of 76 individual battery units, providing a combined capacity of 87MW. With a healthy order book, the total capacity installed by the company is set to exceed 380MW by 2020. In September 2017, Anesco officially opened the UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm and the company remains the only renewable developer to have retrofit solar farms with energy storage.
The law firm, TLT, acted for Eelpower Ltd. Burges Salmon acted for Anesco.