Canadian Solar completes sale of 116MW of solar and storage to Gresham House

The 50MW solar and 38MW battery storage site represents the first collocated project from Canadian Solar in the UK. Image: Gresham House.

Canadian Solar has completed the sale of two fully-permitted solar and battery energy storage projects to Gresham House.

The sale involves a collocated project in Durham, which includes 50MWp solar capacity and 38MW (76MWh) battery energy storage. The second project is a 28MWp standalone solar project in Warwickshire.

There are a number of economic advantages to collocated sites, the companies noted, including shared capital and operating costs, as well as benefits to the grid that help to ease renewable integration.

The Durham site is Canadian Solar’s first collocated solar PV and storage project in the UK, as well as the second collocated site acquired by Gresham House.

“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,” said Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar’s chairman and CEO.

“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.”

Both projects are entirely subsidy-free – in line with Canadian Solar’s wider pipeline of developments – and are fully permitted and construction-ready.

The company has 1.8GWp PV solar and 4.3GWh battery energy storage pipeline under development in the UK, having previously developed and interconnected 200MWp to the grid.

In May, it signed a new agreement with Pulse Clean Energy for the development of 100MWh of battery energy storage. Whilst in November, it built on a prior commitment to develop 1.4GWp of solar together with Windel Energy, by signing an agreement to co-develop 1.5GW of UK battery energy storage systems (BESS) with the developer.

Additionally, Canadian Solar is currently developing the 350MW Mallard Pass Solar Farm together with Windel Energy, which is one of the largest solar farms under development in the country.

Gresham House meanwhile now has roughly £7.2 billion of assets under management. Its New Energy division will take on the development of the two, newly acquired projects, with Canadian Solar remaining involved and taking on long-term operations and maintenance activities.

“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,” said Peter Bolton, investment director, Renewable Energy at Gresham House.

“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.”

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund recently raised £150 million to finance the majority of a 747MW existing battery storage pipeline in the UK and Ireland which the company is acquiring.

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