February 4, 2021: Solar PV investment firm Foresight Solar Fund will ask shareholders to approve plans to spend up to a tenth of its gross asset value on utility-scale battery storage systems situated next to its existing solar sites, it announced on January 28.
The investment firm, which was set up in 2013, has a portfolio of installed peak capacity of 683MW of solar panels in the UK (331MW), Australia (227MW) and Spain (125MW). The capacity is spread over a total of 58 ground-based solar power plants.
“In our view, greenfield standalone and co-location battery investments will continue to represent the largest opportunity for equipment providers,” said Ricardo Pineiro, head of UK Solar at the Fund.
“However, retrofitting batteries at exiting operational solar projects has the potential to represent a meaningful sized market.”
The Group says it was an early investor in the UK battery storage market, acquiring 45MW of battery facilities in 2018 and since investing in two BSS co-located with hydro.
It says it has identified at least 21 of its ground-based solar power plant sites as potentially suitable for immediate development, and ‘is currently in exclusivity regarding the acquisition of a fully developed BSS of 50MW adjacent to one of the company’s operational portfolio assets in the UK’.
“The continued growth in renewable energy generation is also expected to create a requirement for greater system flexibility as energy systems transition from a model of centralized generation and transmission to more flexible and decentralized systems,” says Foresight.
“Battery storage systems are expected to have a significant role in the energy transition process, with the company’s existing portfolio of operational solar power plants offering utility-scale BSS co-location opportunities subject to available grid connection capacity and existing land lease arrangements.”
The shareholders will vote on whether the investment policy can be changed in this way at a general meeting this month to be held in Jersey, where the company has its headquarters.
Restrictions on attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic will apply to the meeting, with only appointed representatives of the company attending in person.