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Downing LLP invests in a greener future with landmark deal

By EDF | Posted February 22, 2021

Investment management firm, Downing LLP (“Downing”), is delighted to announce the completion of a co-funding agreement for the construction and management of a transmission system connected 50MW/53MWh battery storage asset. The deal represents Downing’s first utility-scale battery asset – one of the largest in the UK – and is expected to connect to the grid and begin operations in July 2021.

This initial battery asset, based in Nursling, Southampton, marks the first step in a wider initiative that looks to build a co-funded portfolio of energy storage assets. The project connects directly to National Grid’s transmission system. Looking ahead, the funders’ ambitions extend to develop a private wire network and a utility scale electric vehicle charging super hub in Southampton.

This project is another step on Downing’s investment journey in the flexible generation sector, following its installation of a battery storage system in Arsenal Football Club’s stadium in 2018. These assets seek to take advantage of the increasing volatility of energy prices caused by the deployment of intermittent renewable generation assets on the grid. Energy storage assets provide critical flexibility to support the UK’s ambitions of continued roll out of wind and solar generation.

The impact of this volatility on energy prices was clearly evidenced in January 2021, with prices peaking above £900/MWh on five days during the month. National demand for electricity is expected to increase in line with the increasing electrification of transport, particularly the uptake of electric vehicles. National Grid has launched a range of services seeking to better balance the demand and supply of electricity in line with these changes. Battery assets are uniquely positioned to participate in National Grid initiatives, such as Dynamic Containment, which requires sub one-second response times.

Talking about the recent successful co-investment, Sean Moore, Investment Director at Downing commented: “Battery storage solutions are increasingly important as a renewable energy enabling technology in our ongoing mission to combat climate change. We are proud and excited to be spearheading this exciting deal with a cohort of industry leading suppliers and investors. We look forward to continuing our work with each stakeholder to launch the asset later this year.”

Hyosung Heavy Industries corporation was selected as the Battery Energy Storage Solution provider following a competitive process. The project marks the South Korean supplier’s first transmission-connected battery project in the UK, following deployment of 1.8 GWh globally. Managing Director of Hyosung Heavy Industries UK, Danny Kim said, “Hyosung Heavy Industries are delighted to be a strategic partner to Downing on the Nursling project. We are proud to have engineered a system that meets the exacting standards of our valued customer. We see it as a key part of our UK and Global market growth in the ESS sector, supporting the energy transition of the UK power system.”

UK-based construction company, Arun Construction Services, has managed the construction of the site since inception and will be responsible for the final installation of the asset. The trusted construction partner has over 30 years’ sector experience with particular expertise working with transmission-connected assets. Managing Director, Philp Dedman comments “Arun Construction Services are delighted to have been awarded the role of Principal Contractor for Phase Two of the 50MW battery storage facility at Nursling NG Substation. We look forward to being back on site from mid-March 2021 to see the project through to completion, working in close collaboration with Downing.”

The bankability of the project has been improved through the involvement of leading energy and asset optimisation provider, EDF. Following an extensive tendering process, EDF was selected as the project’s route-to-market and trading partner for its industry leading market knowledge and trading capability. The project will enter into a seven-year contract providing access to a revenue floor.

Adam Clarke, Senior Manager PPA and Flexibility Solutions at EDF, said: “We are extremely proud Downing has selected EDF for a long-term partnership. We are excited to be working together on their first 50MW battery storage project which will see EDF provide access to all National Grid schemes, including Dynamic Containment, as well as fully supported trading and optimisation services in wholesale energy markets. As the balance between ancillary services and wholesale trading becomes more complex, our asset optimisation capability is vital to maximising revenues and protecting investment for our customers. We look forward to future opportunities to extend this collaboration and further reinforce our commitment to help Britain achieve Net Zero.

Downing have been advised in relation to this project by Osborne Clarke LLP (Legal), Ove & Arup Partners (Technical) and Mazars (Financial).

Downing looks forward to seeing the build of the asset come to fruition over the coming months in support of a greener and more stable future for UK energy infrastructure.

https://www.downing.co.uk/

ends

For more information, please contact Lallie.fraser@downing.co.uk

Notes to editors

About Downing LLP

Downing LLP is a London-based investment management firm. It has over 25,000 investors and has raised over £1.7 billion into businesses across a range of sectors, from renewable energy, care homes, health clubs, and children's nurseries, to technology and sports nutrition. Downing has a demonstrable track record in renewables, having made 116 investments into solar parks, wind farms and hydroelectric plants since 2010. For further details please visit www.downing.co.uk

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We are Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.

With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home and small business customers get energy tariffs backed by zero carbon electricity as standard.

We generate low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operate one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C and is leading the development of plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes. 

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland which will be ready in 2023.

Our energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK we employ around 13,000 people.

About Hyosung Heavy Industries

Hyosung Corporation is £11 billion revenue generating business group based in South Korea with various diversity of business portfolio. Its Heavy Industries arm, Hyosung Heavy Industries Corporation has the world’s foremost technology in the field of heavy electrical power equipment with over £2.5 billion revenue. The company is deemed highly valuable not only in electrical equipment such as power transformers and circuit breakers but also in electric motors and gear solution. In addition, they possess core technologies necessary for building the future electricity grid, including Energy Storage Systems (ESS), STATCOM, and Smart Grid solution which leads the era of low-carbon green life. Specifically, Hyosung Heavy Industries corporation have been delivered over 1.8 GWh of energy storage systems worldwide.  In the UK, they have been positioned as a proven supplier to National Grid supplying HV equipment and are building a strong market position of ESS projects on both ITM and BTM market. For further details please visit www.hyosungheavyindustries.com

About Arun Construction Services

Established over 30 years ago, Arun Construction Services Ltd have broad technical expertise in all areas of construction and mechanical and electrical engineering. We provide a comprehensive range of construction services to commercial and public sector clients.

Over the last 15 years we have expanded considerably into the renewable energy sector. We have installed over 300 MW of commercial roof top and ground mount solar throughout the UK in addition to our steadily. 

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