London-quoted investors Gore Street Energy Storage Fund are buying big into America’s grid-scale storage market, acquiring a 200 MW project to be located in California at the unimaginatively named spot of Big Rock.
Across 27 projects, Gore Street owns nearly 1.2 GW of batteries operating or under-construction in the UK, Ireland and Germany. It recently ventured States-side, acquiring assets in Texas.
Paying $110 million for the Big Rock project from developers Avantus – a recent re-branding of 8minute – will mark Gore Street’s first investment in California.
Big Rock’s plot, in Imperial County south east of Los Angeles, is now ready for construction.
With commissioning scheduled for the second half of 2024, Gore Street intends Big Rock to provide ancillary services while participating in California’s Resource Adequacy capacity market and wholesale trading.
The battery will be connected to CAISO, one of nine independent system operators (ISO) in north America. The CAISO grid provides electricity to 80% of California and a small part of Nevada.
Boasting an official motto of “Eureka, I’ve found it!”, the Golden State is attractive for battery developers & owners, given its size, its warm embrace for solar power, and the continuing imminent retirement of much of its thermal power plants.
“With this acquisition, Gore Street is now diversified across five high-growth grids, underpinning our push into international markets, where we continue to see attractive new investment opportunities in line with our target returns,” Gore Street chair Patrick Cox enthused in this morning’s announcement.
Between now and mid-2024, a further 0.37 GW of the fund’s projects are due to become operational across the UK, Ireland and Texas, Cox added.
“We remain dedicated to performing competitively across the sector’s core metrics – cost per MW and revenue per MW / MWh – as this ultimately drives returns for shareholders”, he promised.
By lunchtime, his fund’s share price had drifted 1.5% lower. In May 2018, it was the first energy storage investment vehicle to be quoted on the LSE, floating for an initial capitalisation of £516.06 million.
The specialist fund’s second American foray rounds off a big week for British firms investing in batteries. Zenobē announced two projects providing network-easing capabilities, first on Merseyside’s distribution grid, then in the Highlands, where it intends the world’s biggest – at 300 MW, ultimately – directly grid-connected facility.