Once epitomised by marketers as a toy rabbit playing a drum, enduring battery power became linked today – at UK grid scale at least – with a giant, heavy-tailed mouse bouncing in from the Antipodes.
Through its offshoot Green Investment Group, Australian bank Macquarie announced the purchase of 187MW of grid-sized storage projects all at development stage and located at sites across Scotland and south-east England.
British firm Capbal, vendor in the deal, pocketed an undisclosed sum. It will continue to co-develop the seven sites covered by today’s agreement in partnership with GIG. All are said to be at points needing grid reinforcement or flow easing. Ground at the first may be broken later this year.
Further sites and proposals will also be considered.
Edward Northam, GIG chief in UK and Europe said, “Our partnership with Capbal is an exciting first step for us in this market and we look forward to creating even more opportunities to accelerate the deployment of this critical technology.”
“Net-zero demands …. us to rethink fundamentally not just how we generate energy, but how we get it where we need it, when we need it”.
David Fyffe, Capbal’s managing director, added, “Battery storage is a key enabling technology, adding essential flexibility and intelligence to a grid under increasing stress due to the rapid growth in intermittent renewables.
“Although it has taken time for the battery storage sector to mature, scale and speed to market are now vital”.
Macquarie is best known in recent UK green finance as the purchaser in August 2017 for £1.6 Billion of the Green Investment Bank, funder of the Cameron administration’s failed Green Deal.
In February this year Macquarie’s infrastructure and real assets (MIRA) entity raised Euros 1.6 Billion in London via its 1.6 times over-subscribed Renewable Energy Fund 2 (MGREF2), to nurture clean green energy projects outside Europe.
Its flotation built on MGREF1, a fund seeded from acquisition in 2017 of the Green Investment Bank. Macquarie claims MGREF1 was the world’s first dedicated fund for offshore wind energy. It manages now 1.45GW in six wind farms off the UK.
MIRA claims to be the world’s biggest infrastructure manager, overseeing green generation investments worldwide totalling 12.3GW in capacity.