Hitachi Capital will to loan Gridserve money to develop its proposed network of EV charging stations, battery storage and solar farms.
Gridserve said a ‘multi million pound’ loan facility has been agreed that will enable it to start developing hybrid solar farms in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire, and its first ‘electric forecourt’ close to Braintree, Essex.
The forecourts, akin to motorway service stations, will house 24 EV chargers enabled to charge at up to 350kW so that future EV models can quickly charge.
The company has plans to develop around 100 sites. As well as the Braintree site, CEO Toddington Harper currently has three other active forecourt companies, according to Companies House: Minehead, Stevenage and Uckfield.
Harper helped set up and lead the UK arm of solar and storage firm Belectric, until it was sold to RWE in late 2016.
Last year Gridserve completed a major co-location project for Warrington Borough Council. The 34.7MW solar and 27MW storage farm at York was constructed in five months. It is also developing a 25.7MW solar farm at Hull for the council.
The company will need a significant amount of capital to build its proposed charging network. Pointing to EDF’s acquisition of Pivot Power, which aims to build a network of 50MW batteries to power EV charging stations, Harper has suggested that further consolidation is “inevitable” to fund the UK’s net zero ambitions.
As well as a loan facility, Hitachi Capital, a major vehicle leasing and fleet management firm, will work with Gridserve to bundle EVs with charging at its forecourt network included, plus electric bus charging projects.