Centrica plugs in for 650MW solar by 2026, as Atrato seeks £150 million


Energy giant Centrica has formed a team to oversee installation by mid-decade of 650MW of solar farms and 300MW of batteries.

The UK and continental Europe are the field of operations of the new Centrica Energy Assets division.

It will develop, build, manage and optimise a portfolio of the group’s solar and battery projects that will help provide the company’s customers with clean energy.

Centrica has completed over 85MW of PV farms (pictured). Most recent has been a 2.3MW, 4,000 panel project for the British Army, covering the equivalent of eight football pitches at Leconfield, the Defence School of Transport near Beverley, Yorkshire.

Battery assets will be controlled over Centrica Business Solutions’ PowerRadar DSR platform, designed to ensure the assets achieve maximum value across ancillary and wholesale markets.

The platform, acquired with the purchase of Belgian company REstore in 2017, aggregates a portfolio of smaller flexible loads to form a Virtual Power Plant.

Centrica Energy Marketing & Trading, which manages a claimed 20% of corporate PPAs in Europe, ensures a further route to market for power generated from the solar assets.

Centrica is pledged to reach Net Zero by 2045, and helping its customers to the same goal by 2050.

Bill Rees will lead the team: “Fighting climate change is going to take multiple partnerships, with landowners, technology companies, and a diverse, dynamic workforce“, he said.

“We are creating forward-looking and sustainable jobs, simultaneously supporting the government’s economic and climate ambitions.”

British Gas Solar was launched in 2010 around a Hampshire-based acquisition, but lost its way as sudden cuts to the Feed-in Tariff scared home owners, setting the UK off on its notorious ‘solar coaster’.

Separately targeting PV installations on commercial roofs, investment group Atrato today announced a capital raise to secure £150 million on the main LSE for its offshoot Atrato Onsite Energy plc.

Bypassing wholesale power markets, the group’s business model is to sell solar electricity back to the buildings’ tenants and owners through long-term PPAs.

Juliet Davenport, former CEO of Good Energy, chairs the unit. The parent group claims a pipeline of £ 300 million of potential acquisitions, including £ 50 million under exclusivity.

A prospectus for the unit’s IPO is due on 1 November. The group intends deploying net proceeds within twelve months.


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