NextEnergy Solar hits milestone with Camilla, first standalone energy storage project

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NextEnergy Capital Investment Director and UK Legal Counsel, Stephen Rosser, discussed the significant achievement of Camilla, the company's first standalone energy storage asset, up and running.

Located in Fife, Scotland, near a major substation and amidst a high concentration of wind farms, the 50-megawatt Camilla has already begun operations. This placement allows it to capitalize on the electricity generation volatility from the wind farms, beneficial for energy storage.

Rosser highlighted the importance of Camilla's operational success, including being selected by National Grid for balancing services, a testament to the evolving recognition of battery systems in the energy balance mechanism. Additionally, Camilla secured a tier one capacity auction contract for the upcoming winter, enhancing its revenue prospects.

Rosser also noted the progress made by National Grid in adapting its systems to better integrate battery storage solutions, a critical step towards displacing fossil fuels in energy balancing. He shared that NextEnergy is considering upgrading Camilla from a one-hour to a two-hour system, reflecting a disciplined approach to capital allocation.

Achieving the one gigawatt milestone through Camilla underscores the pivotal role of energy storage in the UK's transition to a low-carbon energy system, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between renewable generation and energy storage.

NextEnergy Solar Fund's distinction as the first solar plus fund in the investment companies space to reach this milestone was also celebrated.

Regarding the investment perspective, Rosser addressed the current share price discount to net asset value and outlined strategies to enhance shareholder value, including selling five solar assets to reduce short-term debt and potentially repurchasing shares. The company's focus on a defensive capital structure, emphasizing the reduction of short-term debt amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment, was reiterated.

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