Exclusive: TRIG nears 20MW storage project buy

The move would represent the listed fund’s first deal outside the onshore wind and solar sectors as it pursues a 20% portfolio diversification strategy.

The Renewables Infrastructure Group is in “advanced discussions” over the acquisition of a 20MW battery storage project, the fund’s investment manager told Infrastructure Investor.

The UK-listed vehicle is in talks with Renewable Energy Systems, the developer which acts as operations manager to the fund’s portfolio, according to Richard Crawford, director of infrastructure at InfraRed Capital Partners, adviser to TRIG.

RES is currently developing the storage project after it was procured by National Grid in May last year, the first of its kind to secure a frequency response contract in the UK. The project acted as a forerunner to the 200MW energy storage auction the grid operator ran later in the year.

TRIG’s move for the storage system follows a change to its investment policy last year, permitting other technologies such as offshore wind and storage to account for 20 percent of its portfolio, up from the previous 10 percent allowed.

The fund has a 710.4MW portfolio of onshore wind and solar projects based in the UK, Ireland and France following the addition of 52MW in 2016. Crawford said he would expect offshore wind to also feature within this soon, although stressed there are no projects to speak of at the moment.

The fund recorded a profit before tax last year of £67.9 million ($84.5 million; €80.5 million), a £50.9 million increase from 2015 owing to an uplift in the portfolio’s valuation.