Quinbrook UK solar & storage-anchored renewables fund raises £620m

October 3, 2023

Energy infrastructure investment manager Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has reached a £620 million final close of the UK-focused Quinbrook Renewables Impact Fund (QRIF), which is anchored by the UK’s largest solar and battery storage project, Cleve Hill in Kent, which consists of 373MW of solar and 150MW of battery storage.

The fund substantially exceeded the QRIF’s initial £500 million target.

“The UK’s ambition to deliver a 100 percent decarbonised power system represents an unprecedented GBP 375 billion new investment and asset creation opportunity, which will support robust UK climate risk resilience, accelerate industrial decarbonisation, deliver improved energy affordability, the security of domestic energy supplies and offer highly skilled ‘green jobs,” a statement said.

Quinbrook said the fund, which was marketed exclusively to UK institutional investors, has a portfolio that includes a range of long-term inflation linked contracts with investment grade counterparties such as National Grid and the UK Government, including the Pathfinder programme, the Contract for Difference regime, and the Capacity Market, as well as inflation linked power purchase agreements with leading UK companies.

Quinbrook also said the portfolio features new infrastructure opportunities that leverage innovations in the energy sector that use advanced data science and artificial intelligence such as that deployed in battery storage optimisation.

More than 60 per cent of QRIF’s modelled portfolio is either already built and operational or under construction. “Once construction works are completed and the assets operational, more than 85 per cent of the modelled portfolio’s cashflows are expected to be linked to UK rates of inflation,’ Quinbrook said. Major investments within QRIF’s diverse portfolio include:

  • Cleve Hill in Kent, which secured the largest single award for solar in the 15-year Contract for Difference round 4 tender
  • Rassau Synchronous Condenser in Wales, the only non-utility sponsored project to win a contract in National Grid’s Stability Pathfinder Phase I, which was successfully commissioned in February 2022
  • Thistle critical grid support portfolio, comprising four synchronous condenser new-build projects in Scotland that secured over 50 percent of the contracted revenues in National Grid’s second Stability Pathfinder tender
  • Uskmouth 230MW battery storage project in Wales, which is permitted and construction-ready and is set to anchor the regeneration of the region surrounding the former Uskmouth coal fired power plant; and
  • Habitat Energy, a UK market leading battery optimisation platform that utilises advanced machine learning and algorithmic capabilities to optimise the strategic and financial value of battery storage assets.

Mark Burrows, Quinbrook’s head of Europe, capital formation and investor engagement said: “Strong macro tailwinds are supporting QRIF’s investment strategy, with the confluence of societal will, political imperatives which are cross party in the UK and fundamental economics driving decarbonisation of power. Furthermore, investors have responded to the genuine and tangible impact delivered by QRIF’s focus on the development, construction and long-term operation of new infrastructure projects.”