NextEnergy Solar signs £200 million energy storage joint venture with Eelpower. Image: NESF.

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has reiterated its commitment to expanding energy storage and solar capacity with the launch of a joint venture partnership (JVP2) with Eelpower worth £200 million.

The JVP2 is dedicated to creating substantial energy storage as a means to complement intermittent renewable energy generation projects, such as solar, with an already installed power capacity of 865MW.

This is the second partnership NESF has established with Eelpower having signed a £100 million joint venture partnership with the battery specialist last year aiming to establish a portfolio of up to 250MW of battery energy storage assets.

The new agreement sees NESF’s ownership increase to 75% with Eelpower now holding 25%.

In establishing the JVP2 with Eelpower, it provides a platform to increase its reach in the solar and storage markets. The constructor-owner-operator will provide NESF with experience in delivering various renewable projects helping to capitalise on the rising interest in solar and battery energy storage.

“Battery storage is a vital technology in increasing the penetration of renewables in the UK. NESF has made excellent progress expanding and diversifying into this technology through its relationship with Eelpower,” said Kevin Lyon, chairman of NextEnergy Solar Fund.

“NESF has created a unique opportunity to become a key player in this space, whilst enhancing the existing portfolio of solar assets. Pending shareholder and FCA approval, NESF can further diversify and offer investors continued exciting growth prospects.”

NESF recently celebrated hitting a new milestone with its portfolio reaching 100 operating solar assets. The final installation was a 181kW commercial rooftop solar power project in Nottinghamshire developed with renewable energy developer Zestec.

“The new joint venture partnership builds on the successful relationship with the Eelpower team and enhances NESF's position as a key player in the battery storage sector,” commented Michael Bonte-Friedheim, CEO of NextEnergy Group.

“The partnership also secures NESF an exclusive pipeline of over 500MW of battery storage opportunities which is incredibly exciting and will further enhance the UK's energy independence once energised and grid-connected.”

The company is also pursuing a £350 million pipeline, including UK standalone energy storage, international solar assets and co-located battery storage projects via its retrofit programme.

NESF said a 11MW North Norfolk solar farm would be fitted with a 6MW/12MWh battery system, with planning permission having been secured by the company and construction expected to start this year.

Commenting in April on the implementation of battery energy storage, Ross Grier, UK managing director of NextEnergy Capital, stated: “Battery storage is, and will be, a strong driver of growth for NESF, particularly as we look to help in the drive to decarbonisation and the UK's goal to achieve net zero by 2050.”