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Osborne Clarke advises Foresight Group on acquisition of 35MW battery storage facility at Port of Tyne from RES


Written on 21 June 2017

International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight on its acquisition of the utility scale 35MW battery storage facility at Port of Tyne from RES (Renewable Energy Systems).

The acquisition, which was made using funds from Foresight ITS, is the largest of the National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (“EFR”) battery storage projects to attract investment from an infrastructure investment manager in the UK.

The project represents an exciting precedent and a valuable addition to Foresight’s considerable renewable energy capabilities, which have seen the group establish an operational portfolio of more than 80 solar PV projects and 28 Energy from Waste (“EfW”) projects with a collective generating capacity of more than 1GW, enough to power more than 600,000 UK homes with clean electricity.

The project at Port of Tyne was developed and will be constructed and operated by RES, one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy and energy storage developers. RES has a global energy storage portfolio totalling more than 175 MW (212 MWh) and providing multiple grid services.

Construction on the project will start immediately with full commissioning due in early 2018. The Port of Tyne project will deliver frequency response balancing services through an EFR contract and provide available capacity to the National Grid through a CM contract, positioning the project as an essential part of the National Grid’s move to a more flexible, low carbon energy network.

Foresight is a long standing and valued client of Osborne Clarke. The cross-sector Osborne Clarke team that advised on the transaction was led by Corporate Partner Matthew Lewis and Associate Director Chris Yeo, supported by Projects Partner Carl Thompson and Senior Associate Duncan Parker, Real Estate Associate Director David Kerr, Energy Associate Director Clare King and Planning Senior Associate John Webster.

Partner Matthew Lewis commented:

“Energy Storage has for some time been recognised as having the ability to play a crucial role in supporting the UK’s renewable generation portfolio in terms of managing intermittency and lowering the cost of supply. Foresight is a leading investor in energy infrastructure, we are proud to have worked with them over a number of years and delighted to have been able to advise them in relation to the acquisition of this project, and the on-going contractual arrangements with leading renewables and storage developer RES.”

Dan Wells, Partner at Foresight added:

“We are delighted to have worked once more alongside the experienced team at Osborne Clarke to reach financial close on this pioneering project which sets an exciting precedent for the integration of battery storage into the UK energy system. Foresight is proud to be at the forefront of investment in the significant transition now underway in our energy system, as we move towards an increasingly secure, low carbon electricity supply and greater network flexibility.”

Osborne Clarke has an established and well-respected position as one of the leading law firms advising on renewable energy projects and transactions. For over 20 years, it has helped clients to seize new opportunities and meet the challenges of making energy generation clean, affordable and secure. The combination of the team’s experience and understanding of the energy sector means they are regularly called upon to support businesses on all aspects of their commercial, regulatory, corporate, finance and construction legal needs.