DIF Capital Partners has entered into a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a solar plus storage project in Bedfordshire, England. It includes 55MW of solar capacity and 40MW/80MWh of storage, making it the country’s first major solar and storage PPA.
The Swiss consulting company Pexapark helped DIF Capital Partners with the structure of the deal.
“Working with contracted vendor DIF, Pexapark’s PPA Transaction advisory team was able to leverage the quantitative expertise of its Storage and Flexibility Desk to analyze expected revenue and risk exposure,” Pexapark said in a release. “This allowed Pexapark to determine the optimal PPA structure covering both the power generation and storage aspects of the project.”
Pexapark did not specify the project’s construction schedule and did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
“We expect this deal to be the first of many and represent a turning point for the European sector in the deployment of bankable solar hybrid projects,” said Jack Rankin, UK and Ireland regional director of Pexapark’s PPA transaction advisor. “In the long term, such agreements are necessary to integrate a large proportion of renewable energy production into the grid.”
DIF Capital Partners said in mid-June that it has completed the financing of UK-based solar and battery storage portfolios. The portfolio consists of seven ready-to-build sites with a solar capacity of 380 MW and a storage capacity of 340 MW.
“The first two projects in the portfolio have started construction, and all projects are expected to be operational in 2024-2025,” the fund said at the time.
The UK needs grid stabilization services provided by BESS because its interconnections are weaker than mainland Europe. Electricity-scale projects have proliferated in recent years, expanding the range of services large batteries can offer in this unregulated market.
According to National Grid, the UK may need up to 50GW of storage capacity by 2050 to reach its zero emissions target.
In April, RenewableUK reported that the total number of battery projects in the country had doubled from 16.1 GW to 32.1 GW. The operating capacity of the battery has increased by 45% to 1.6 GW, and the capacity of projects under construction has more than doubled to 1.4 GW. In addition, 10.4 GW have been approved and 7.7 GW are in the planning system.
*Article updated on 11 July to reflect that DIF is a Dutch company and not a UK company as we previously reported.