Institutional investor EIG has created a new electricity supplier through the acquisition of a 1381MW of assets from EDF Energy.
This consists of the 1332MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) West Burton B power station and 49MW battery in Nottingham. The sale closed yesterday (31 August), having been initially announced in April.
West Burton Energy – the newly created company – will support the energy transition in the UK through the use of the highly flexible assets, EIG said.
“Gas-fired power stations have demonstrated their strategic importance in the U.K.’s electricity supply system, and our investment in West Burton Energy underscores our confidence in the continued role that gas will play in facilitating the energy transition,” said R. Blair Thomas, EIG’s chairman and chief executive officer.
At the beginning of 2021, a period of cold weather and low winds highlighted key role CCGT still plays in Britain. This period also saw EDF secure more in balancing payments in three days than in the whole of Q3 2020, as West Burton B in particular stepped in to meeting spiking demand.
National Grid ESO procured power at the record breaking £4,000/MWh on Friday 8 January from West Burton B in the Balancing Mechanism. Indeed, it received over £7.5 million in a single day, and over the period made over £20 million from reacting to the tight margins.
West Burton B was EDF's only gas-fired power station in the UK, consisting of three combined cycle units. It started generating electricity in 2013 and currently employs 60 people.
The 49MW battery storage asset also sits on the West Burton site, and will help West Burton Energy embark “on a path forward to deliver solutions capable of supporting a net-zero future,” according to Walid Mouawad, managing director at EIG.
“With the strong growth of renewable generation, we believe that battery storage technology will continue to support the stability of the U.K.’s national grid network. EIG is delighted to partner with this incredible team and to be a part of West Burton Energy’s exciting next chapter.”
EIG was advised by Cantor Fitzgerald in connection with the transaction, and White & Case served as legal advisor.