Foresight Solar expects to bring its 50MW Sandridge BESS project online in 2024. Image: Foresight.
Foresight Solar expects to bring its 50MW Sandridge BESS project online in 2024. Image: Foresight.

Solar and battery storage investment firm Foresight Solar Fund has confirmed it achieved a record year for electricity production across 2023.

Detailed within the fund’s annual results for 2023, Foresight declared that its 58-project strong portfolio, which has a total capacity of 969MW, exported 1,094GWh of electricity to the grid.

As a result of this record generation, Foresight, which marked its tenth year of operation in 2023, also achieved record high cash distribution from assets with £120.4 million, an 8% increase year-on-year (YoY).

Foresight’s strong generation was attributed to its UK portfolio, which saw “good levels of availability enabling the assets to capture slightly higher-than-expected solar irradiation”. The result showed that the UK portfolio generated 0.7% above budget.

It is also worth noting that Foresight Solar Fund’s net asset value (NAV) rose to £697.9 million across 2023. However, the firm saw its UK portfolio valuation decrease from £1.29m/MW in 2022 to £1.17m/MW in 2023.

Commenting on the results, Alexander Ohlsson, chairman of Foresight Solar, said: “After a challenging year for markets, we believe there are reasons for optimism. The energy transition is one of the most significant investment themes of our generation.

“The solar power opportunity alone is immense. Industry fundamentals remain attractive, and solar generation continues to be one of the cheapest and most reliable sources of electricity available.

“This promising outlook, coupled with Foresight Solar’s improved financial position and a clear strategy to deliver income and growth, positions the fund well to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”

Market review: GB BESS market stutters, whereas solar sees ‘steady growth.’

Within Foresight Solar’s annual results is their market context, whereby the firm believes that, over the longer term, the “case for batteries remains positive”. This is despite the challenging market conditions the technology has witnessed in late 2023 and into early 2024.

According to Foresight Solar, the battery energy storage market has seen “lucrative but declining ancillary service revenues that have not been fully replaced by merchant trading. This has been a function of structural challenges with the grid’s balancing mechanism, but also of falls in wholesale power prices and a corresponding reduction in market volatility”.

This stance reiterates what other investors, such as the Gresham House Energy Storage Fund and Harmony Energy Income Trust, have previously stated.

There has been “steady growth” for utility-scale solar, with the firm having stated that an estimated 3GW of new capacity has been installed across 2023. The primary reason for this is “lower component costs and successful allocations in the latest Contracts for Difference auction”, whereby solar secured almost 2GW.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market, and much more. For more information, go to the website.