Plans to invest up to £300m in new battery storage sites take major step forward with acquisition of former power station site

Catalyst Capital has announced the acquisition of a former power station site next to the M1 motorway in Yorkshire where it plans to develop a new 100MW battery storage facility.

The asset investment firm’s Catalyst Energy Storage Platform (CESP) confirmed late last week that it has acquired the leasehold interest in a brownfield site at the former Skelton Grange power station, south east of Leeds, from Referent, a renewable energy developer.

The site is part of a regional hub for renewable energy and is adjacent to a 19.5-acre waste-to-energy facility, which is currently under construction.

Planning permission was granted last year for a 100MW battery storage facility with the construction tendering process now being managed by CESP’s engineering adviser, Fitchner.

The company said it was planning for the site to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2022, delivering a major step forward for Catalyst’s plans to invest £300m in UK battery storage facilities.

The Skelton project follows a joint venture acquisition last year with Dowling LLP in Nursling, Southampton, which is set to see a new 50MW battery facility come online next month.  

Catalyst said it is now in talks with other investors to jointly fund the expansion of the battery storage platform.

“We believe there is a compelling opportunity to deliver a portfolio of UK battery storage facilities,” said Kean Hird, partner of Catalyst Capital. “This portfolio will give our investors the opportunity to invest into a scalable market with high ESG credentials in the renewables sector. Although the sector is still in evolution, it is quickly gaining institutional status, while delivering very healthy cash-on-cash returns in the interim.”

The UK’s energy storage market is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years, as renewables developers and grid operators look to balance supply and demand as they integrate growing levels of renewables capacity on to grid.

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