Green Investment Group and Enso Energy form joint venture to develop large UK solar and battery portfolio

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group Limited (GIG) and Enso Energy have announced they are working together in a UK solar development joint venture. The partnership was established with the aim to create one of the UK’s largest subsidy-free solar and battery storage portfolios, which will deliver clean energy to communities and businesses across the country.

GIG and Enso have identified an ambitious pipeline of projects which are currently in development and represent an initial 1 GW of capacity.

Initial projects are grid secured and are being submitted for planning approval. This includes projects across England and Waleswhere the team are currently conducting virtual community consultations to ensure that the views of these local communities can be taken into consideration during this period of required social distancing. Furthermore, these subsidy-free solar farms expect to be backed by power purchase agreements (PPAs), providing predictably priced power to UK businesses while reducing their carbon footprint.

Many of these projects will use newly available tracking and bifacial solar technology to ensure that the energy produced per hectare is maximised thereby reducing the physical footprint of each project. By combining the solar farm with battery storage technology, the project can provide a more flexible output, address demand during peak periods, as well as providing auxiliary services and stability to the grid to facilitate increased levels of renewables on the system. The project plans and designs aim to significantly enhance the biodiversity of each site through the provision of a range of resources for local wildlife. Each development will include a Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment to demonstrate the benefits of each project.

Projects like these will play an important role in helping the UK meet its commitment to end its contribution to  climate change by 2050, as the UK’s Committee on Climate Change has shown that meeting this target will require more renewable energy capacity. However, there are also potential economic benefits from a focus on delivering net zero, and a recent report from Vivid Economics has shown that domestic investment in low carbon technologies could create 270,000 jobs across the UK.

To deliver this portfolio, the partnership has assembled a highly experienced renewable energy delivery team, with a significant track record in the UK. Enso Energy has a proven history in developing large scale energy projects, totalling in excess of 1,500MW of distributed generation. To date, Macquarie and the Green Investment Group (and its predecessor organisation, the Green Investment Bank), have supported nearly 7.5 GW of renewable projects in the UK – and are specialists in structuring and developing corporate PPAs.

By bringing together GIG’s specialist experience and investment capacity with Enso Energy’s strong expertise in project development in the UK the partnership is ideally placed to successfully deliver these projects, helping accelerate the UK’s energy transition.

Ian Harding and Andrew King, co-founders of Enso Energy said: “Both Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and Enso Energy are totally committed to an ambitious programme of large-scale solar development. This partnership brings together two organisations that share the same vision, to dramatically accelerate the delivery of the benefits of low-cost solar energy to communities up and down the country”.

Edward Northam, Head of Green Investment Group Europe, said: “From our origins in the UK as the world’s first green investment bank, GIG has grown into a global green energy powerhouse while remaining steadfastly committed to accelerating the UK’s transition to a greener economy.

About Green Investment Group and Macquarie Group
Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) is a specialist in green infrastructure principal investment, project development and delivery, green impact advisory and the management of portfolio assets. Its track record, expertise and capability make it a global leader in green investment and development, dedicated to accelerating the transition to a greener global economy.

Initially launched by the UK Government in 2012 as the Green Investment Bank, it was the first institution of its type in the world. It was purchased by Macquarie in 2017 and combined with Macquarie Capital’s renewables team to create one of the world’s largest teams of specialist green infrastructure developers and investors. Now operating as the Green Investment Group, the business and its operating platforms have investments or operations in over 25 markets, more than 450 staff and a global development pipeline of more than 25 GW.

Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie) is a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities. Founded in 1969, Macquarie employs 15,849 people in 31 markets. At 31 March 2020, Macquarie had assets under management of £299.7 billion.

About Enso Energy
Enso Energy is one of the UK’s most experienced renewable energy developers with an ‘unparalleled focus’ on solar energy. Enso’s team of experts have a deep understanding of the energy industry and how to meet the requirements of a fast-moving sector. With a background in large scale renewable energy, the team have developed out over 1500MW of distributed energy projects. Enso Energy believes that it is only with the support of the people most affected by renewable energy development that we can keep the lights on. That’s why Enso’s expert team is honest, considerate and diligent with an ambition to use the latest solar technology to make a positive impact on the country and the communities it works in.