• The investment will see the repurposing of a dormant opencast coal mine, providing an immediate environmental benefit to the local area
• The project will play a key role in balancing the UK’s electricity supply; only five plants of its kind currently exist in the UK
• The Pumped Storage Hydro site will connect 1,600 MWh of storage capacity to the grid; whilst the wind farm will add 33.6 MW to the grid
• The project will deliver social and environmental benefits to the area and support Scotland with its climate change ambitions
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04 October 2022: Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners (“FEIP”), Foresight Group’s flagship energy transition fund, is pleased to announce its first investment in Pumped Storage Hydro (“PSH”) technology.
The project, located at the disused 1,547 acre Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine near Kirkconnel, Scotland, will see the construction of a co-located 1,600 MWh capacity PSH plant and a 33.6 MW wind farm. The investment will enhance and aid the balancing of the UK power system enabling the integration of more renewable generation. There have only been five plants like this constructed to date in the UK.
Once constructed, the PSH plant will have a 1,600 MWh storage capacity which can be delivered at a rate of 210 MW per hour providing 8 hours of storage capacity. Utilising two 105 MW reversible hydro-turbines, the site will store power during periods of excess energy supply and release stored energy at times of peak demand. The co-located wind farm will comprise 8 x 4.2 MW turbines and will have the ability, via a direct connection, to power the PSH plant. The project could power over 289,000 homes annually.
Amid growing energy security concerns, PSH provides a vital grid support service. It builds grid resilience, replacing conventional low-efficiency thermal peaking plants, and facilitates the integration of intermittent renewable energy generation technologies which in turn drives lower electricity prices.
The investment will also provide many social benefits to the community, including local job creation during both the project’s construction and throughout its operation. The introduction of a community benefit fund will see financial support for local community projects and the creation of two reservoirs will further drive the vital ecological restoration work that is being undertaken at the site to remediate the scar on the landscape left by the now defunct coal operations.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Thompson, Partner at Foresight said: “Long Duration Energy Storage has a critical role to play in the UK helping to reduce power prices for bill payers, enhancing security of supply and accelerating the road to net zero by enabling the integration of more renewables on the system. Foresight is delighted to be making its first Long Duration Energy Storage investment in a project that will create such a long lasting environmental legacy through the repurposing of a disused coal mine.”
Foresight used the following advisers in the transaction:
Osborne Clark & Harper McLeod (Legal)
Amberside Advisors (Model)
For more information contact:
Lucy Sherwood: firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0) 20 3763 6977
Notes to Editors
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight Group was founded in 1984 and is a leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager. With a long-established focus on ESG and sustainability-led strategies, it aims to provide attractive returns to its institutional and private investors from hard-to-access private markets. Foresight manages over 330 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind assets, bioenergy and waste, as well as renewable energy enabling projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and core infrastructure projects and sustainable forestry assets. Its private equity team manages ten regionally focused investment funds across the UK and an SME impact fund supporting Irish SMEs. This team reviews over 2,500 business plans each year and currently supports more than 200 investments in SMEs. Foresight Capital Management manages four strategies across six investment vehicles with an AUM of over £1.6 billion.
Foresight operates from 13 offices across seven countries in Europe and Australia with AUM of £12.4 billion*. Foresight Group Holdings Limited listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in February 2021. https://www.fsg-investors.com/
*Based on Foresight Group unaudited AUM as at 30 June 2022 and Infrastructure Capital's unaudited AUM as at 30 June 2022 converted from AUD to GBP at an exchange rate of 0.5846 as at 7 September 2022.