Approaching 1GW of flexible supply Supporting the U.K.’s Energy Transition towards Net Zero
London, U.K. – [14 September, 2020] – Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (‘Quinbrook’), a specialist investor in lower carbon and renewable energy infrastructure, today announced further progress just two years into its ongoing investment campaign aimed at helping drive the United Kingdom’s energy transition toward net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by investing in infrastructure supporting energy security, ongoing economic recovery and job creation following COVID-19.
Over the past 24 months, Quinbrook has developed, constructed and agreed to acquire the following assets spanning flexible generation, grid support infrastructure and demand response capability:
• Over 300MW of flexible reserve capacity either in operations or under construction across 21 sites in Scotland, England and Wales, with the ability to be dispatched on call from National Grid, the high-voltage electric power transmission network serving Great Britain
• Commencement of construction of the first new Synchronous Condenser to be built in the U.K. under National Grid’s Pathfinder program. The condenser, to be located in Wales, is expected to provide critical support services to stabilise the grid as older baseload coal, gas and nuclear plants are retired and intermittent renewables capacity increases
• Flexitricity, a first mover in a very small group of demand-response operators in Great Britain. Flexitricity has been an innovative market participant for over 10 years addressing customer demand management as decarbonization accelerates, creating real cost savings for energy consumers whilst also enhancing grid support during periods of system stress and higher power prices. The Flexitricity virtual power plant consists of an aggregated 540MW of distributed flexible energy from a wide range of different assets owned by customers across Great Britain
• A diversified portfolio of distributed renewable gas projects located at 30 sites in Scotland, England and Wales, many of which are intended to be converted to solar and battery storage. Once converted, these project sites are expected to deliver measurable benefits to local communities and distributed power networks, further improving grid stability and reliability
Quinbrook plans to commit significant capital to the U.K. energy sector over the coming years, using its experience from prior investments in the U.S. and Australia spanning utility and distributed scale solar and battery storage, Virtual Power Plants and Community Energy Networks to develop and construct innovative and impactful infrastructure designed to aid the U.K. economic recovery.
Quinbrook’s UK investments to date are consistent with the U.K. Government’s policies to create a smarter, more resilient and flexible power system in the U.K. that enables the Net Zero transition to progress and achieve the significant carbon emissions reductions required from the energy sector. Last year, the U.K. government became the first major economy in the world to pass laws aimed at ending its contribution to global warming by 2050. This target requires the U.K. to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels.
This commitment is projected to increase the country’s number of “green collar jobs” to approximately 2 million and boost the value of exports from the low carbon economy to £170 billion a year by 2030.
“The U.K. is undergoing a real and fundamental transformation of its energy system and we want to be at the forefront of where the U.K. industry is heading, not where it’s been,” said Rory Quinlan, co-founder and managing partner of Quinbrook. “By supporting the U.K. grid in managing the challenges presented by massive scale-up in intermittent wind and solar, we can deliver high-impact investments that enable even more renewables capacity to be built and carbon emissions abated. This is the only way the U.K.’s success to-date in decarbonizing its power sector can continue at the rapid pace needed.”
“These are sustainable investments in the purest sense, creating and preserving jobs in local communities across the U.K., reducing carbon emissions, helping the U.K. grid manage more zero emissions renewables without risk of blackouts and stimulating U.K. manufacturing. We are creating real and measurable ESG impact with the deployment of our investors’ capital and measurably supporting key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, across climate action, creating sustainable cities and communities, affordable clean energy, innovative infrastructure, job creation and economic growth.”, said Quinlan.
Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners (www.quinbrook.com) is a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on lower carbon and renewable energy infrastructure investment and operational asset management in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Quinbrook is led and managed by a senior team of power industry professionals who have collectively invested over U.S.$8 billion of equity in energy infrastructure assets since the early 1990's, representing a total enterprise value of U.S.$28.7 billion or 19.5 GW of power supply capacity. Quinbrook's investment and asset management team has offices in Houston, London, Jersey, and the Gold Coast of Australia. Quinbrook's global investment and portfolio company teams are actively developing and constructing a portfolio exceeding 6GW of onshore wind, solar PV, reserve peaking power, battery storage projects, grid support infrastructure, Virtual Power Plants and Community Energy Networks across the U.S., U.K. and Australia.