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BW Group funds Penso's 3 GWh UK battery storage investment drive

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BW Group funds Penso's 3 GWh UK battery storage investment drive

Highlights

Up to 350 MW in connection capacity

Five year investment program

Underlines growing need for services

Maritime company BW Group is to fund the build-out of Penso Power's 3 GWh-plus pipeline of large-scale battery storage projects in the UK over the next five years, Penso Power said Oct. 19.

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The UK is Europe's most active battery storage system market, with Penso Power having developed the UK's largest single asset to date -- the 100 MW Minety battery in Wiltshire optimized by Shell-owned asset manager Limejump.

"With BW Group as our partner, we will accelerate the development and construction of our UK project pipeline, which currently exceeds 3 GWh, and explore further project opportunities in the UK and overseas," said Penso Power CEO Richard Thwaites.

Under the agreement, Penso Power and BW Group are to become joint shareholders at the battery project level. The agreement encompasses projects up to 350 MW in connection capacity.

BW Group is to invest directly into Penso Power with Erik Stromso, Managing Director of BW Renewables, joining its board of directors.

Vibrant market

Penso Power is not alone in accelerating its UK battery storage plans.

Eelpower recently announced a GBP100 million joint venture with NextEnergy Solar Fund to build a 250 MW portfolio of UK storage assets, while EDF-owned Pivot Power in July told S&P Global Platts it was securing land and grid connections for the next batch of its 36 storage sites in England and Wales.

A vibrant market is being driven by growth in renewables and closure of dispatchable coal plants, and increasing the National Grid's need for fast-acting system services.

The need for these services is expected to grow, according to National Grid's Future Energy Scenario forecasts.

These see a need for between 34 GW and 77 GW of new wind and solar generation to meet demand in 2030, requiring as much as 13 GW of new electricity storage to help balance the system.