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Gresham House Energy (GRID)

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Monday 10 January, 2022

Gresham House Energy

Trading Update

RNS Number : 8427X
Gresham House Energy Storage Fund
10 January 2022
 

10 January 2022

GRESHAM HOUSE ENERGY STORAGE FUND PLC

("GRID" or the "Company")

Trading Update

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC (LSE: GRID), the UK's largest fund investing in utility-scale battery energy storage systems, is pleased to provide shareholders with an update on trading for the full year to 31 December 2021 ahead of the publication of its audited annual results in April 2022.

 

2021 has been another transformational year for the Company. Key highlights include:

-  Full year revenues of the asset portfolio comfortably ahead of modelled levels and EBITDA of the asset portfolio expected to be in excess of £40m, more than doubling FY2020 EBITDA (£15.6m[1]);

-  Full dividend cover[2] for FY 2021 dividend target of 7.0 pence per share;

-  415MW of battery energy storage systems ("BESS") under construction as at Q4 2021 (Q32021: 175MW);

-  280MW added to the exclusive pipeline during Q4 2021 for connection in 2023 and 2024, increasing the target portfolio, once operational, to over 1.5GW;

-  Further growth in the Company's capital base in 2021 with £100m raised in equity funds and £180m of debt secured at an interest rate of SONIA + 300bp before hedging costs.

 

Looking ahead to 2022, as projects progressively commission through the year, GRID anticipates achieving the following ambitions: 

-  Full dividend cover for FY 2022 target of 7.0 pence per share, with cover continuing to improve progressively as new projects commission during the year;

-  Net Asset Value ("NAV") growth towards the upper end of the target range of 8% to 15%[3];

-  Continuing to be the leading owner of operational BESS in the UK and Ireland with a market share of c.25% to 30%.

 

These targets are underpinned by the deployment of existing cash and, incrementally, drawing of low cost debt into pipeline projects with Internal Rates of Return (IRRs) which are significantly above the Company's weighted average discount rate. 

 

John Leggate CBE, Chair of Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC commented:

"The outlook remains very exciting for energy storage sector investments, particularly due to the recent Contract for Difference (CfD) auction launch announcement for renewable generation projects. The UK government's Department for Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expects this will result in a further 12GW in contracts, primarily for offshore wind, far in excess of the 5.5GW achieved in the 2019 round. This substantial growth in renewables will lead to increased generation intermittency and therefore drive the need for significant additional energy storage capacity.  GRID  remains committed to taking the lead in providing this storage capability in the UK and Ireland."

 

Ben Guest Lead Fund Manager and Managing Director of Gresham House New Energy, added:

"We continue to work towards the commissioning of our extensive pipeline, as well as continuing to grow it.  We are excited about the impact that achieving these  milestones will have on the prospects for earnings growth and NAV  progression in 2022."

 

Operational update

 

GRID has the potential to build the majority of its pipeline projects to at least 2-hour durations and has built several projects to 1.5 hours to date.  The Manager expects that at least two projects, for delivery later in 2022 and 2023, will be built to 2 hour durations as the trading opportunity for 2-hour duration sites becomes at least as profitable as for shorter duration sites. This opportunity is becoming more compelling as the frequency response market (which only requires sub-1 hour projects) is now becoming saturated, as widely anticipated.

 

GRID continues to expect to acquire its upcoming pipeline at the lowest levels achieved to date. All-in costs are expected to be, on average, under £450k per MW for 1  hour projects and under £625k per MW for 2-hour projects.

 

The Manager has experienced some Covid-related supply chain challenges relating to the construction of its current pipeline.  While this has no significant effect on the Company's budgets, some project timelines have been affected with target commissioning dates pushed back by up to a quarter, as indicated in the table below. 

 

Target portfolio:

 

Project

Location

MW

Operational status

Target Commissioning date

Current operational portfolio

UK

425

Operational

Fully commissioned

Enderby

Leicester

50

In construction

Q1 2022

Coupar Angus

Co. Perth

40

In construction

Q1 2022

Arbroath

Co. Angus

35

In construction

Q1 2022

Stairfoot

South Yorkshire

40

In construction

Q1 2022

West Didsbury

Manchester

50

In construction

Q2 2022**

Melksham East & West

Swindon

100

In construction

Q3 2022**

Penwortham

Preston

50

In construction

H2 2022

Grendon

Northampton

100

In construction***

H2 2022

Project York (previously project Y)

York, N. Yorks.

50

 

H2 2022

Project Elland (previously project E2)

West Yorkshire

150

 

Q1 2023**

Project Bradford West

(previously project B)

West Yorkshire

87

 

Q1 2023**

Monet's Garden

North Yorkshire

50

 

Q2 2023**

Lister Drive

Merseyside

50

 

Q2 2023**

Project Bradford West 2*

West Yorkshire

100

 

2023

Project Monvalet*

Rep. of Ireland

180

 

2024

Total (including operational projects)

 

1,557

 

 

 

*New pipeline projects

**Target Commissioning date pushed back by up to a quarter

*** Only 50MW under construction at this time

 

Note: all figures contained in this announcement are unaudited.

 

For further information, please contact:

Gresham House New Energy

Ben Guest

 

+44 (0) 20 3837 6270 

Jefferies International Limited

Stuart Klein

Gaudi Le Roux

Neil Winward

 

+44 (0) 20 7029 8000

+44 (0) 20 7029 8000

+44 (0) 20 7029 8000

 

KL Communications

Charles Gorman

Will Sanderson

Millie Steyn

[email protected]

+44 (0) 20 3995 6673

 

JTC (UK) Limited as Company Secretary

Christopher Gibbons

[email protected] 

+44 207 409 0181

 

 About the Company and the Manager:

 

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund plc seeks to provide investors with an attractive and sustainable dividend over the long term by investing in a diversified portfolio of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (known as BESS) located in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the Company seeks to provide investors with the prospect of capital growth through the re-investment of net cash generated in excess of the target dividend in accordance with the Company's investment policy.

 

The Company targets an unlevered Net Asset Value total return of 8% per annum, calculated net of the Company's costs and expenses. Once certain further asset management activities are completed and leverage is introduced to the Portfolio, the Company targets a levered Net Asset Value total return of 15% per annum, calculated net of the Company's costs and expenses.

 

Gresham House Asset Management is the FCA authorised operating business of Gresham House plc, a London Stock Exchange quoted specialist alternative asset manager. Gresham House is committed to operating responsibly and sustainably, taking the long view in delivering sustainable investment solutions.

 

www.greshamhouse.com

 

Definition of utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS)

Utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS) are the enabling infrastructure that will support the continued growth of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, essential to the UK's stated target to reduce carbon emissions. They store excess energy generated by renewable energy sources and then release that stored energy back into the grid during peak hours when there is increased demand.

 

 

[1]£15.8m was reported in the Annual Report 2020 issued in April 2021.  This was calculated pre-audit of the asset portfolio and the final EBITDA number post-audit was £15.6m.  This will form the comparator in the Annual Report 2021 when issued.

[2] Dividend cover is calculated in accordance with the Alternative Performance Measures table in the 30 June 2021 Interim Report: this is based on underlying EBITDA from the asset portfolio and deducts ongoing costs in the Company

[3] Growth in NAV is driven by the realisation of additional value when pipeline projects are valued as construction projects initially and then as operational projects.  It does not assume any reduction in the current weighted average cost of capital.

 

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