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Low Carbon seals UK energy storage JV

The company’s partnership with VLC Energy will help it develop the 50MW of storage it won in a UK auction as well as target further investments.

UK-based renewables investment firm Low Carbon has agreed a joint venture with VLC Energy targeting a “multi-million-pound investment” in energy storage.

The first projects to be funded as a result of the agreement will be Low Carbon’s 10MW Cleator and 40MW Glassenbury battery storage sites. The projects were awarded to Low Carbon last year in the UK’s inaugural energy storage tender, which contracted 200MW of grid-scale balancing services overall. Further investments in projects to be developed by the pair are expected in the future.

Cleator and Glassenbury were also awarded contracts in the follow-up Capacity Market Auction, designed to insure against blackouts. Once built, Glassenbury will be the UK’s second largest battery storage site after Centrica’s 50MW Roosecote project.

“Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix and as this role expands, the development of energy storage plants will be central to the future success of the UK’s energy network,” said Roy Bedlow, chief executive at Low Carbon.

While a spokesperson for VLC Energy, owned by energy trading group Vitol, declined to disclose the exact sum of the stated investment, the pair are believed to be prepared to invest about £250 million ($305.9 million; €289.4 million), according to reports.

Energy storage is the latest sector targeted by Low Carbon, which has funded or built over 320MW of solar, wind and biomass projects to date.