GLIL Infrastructure Invests £150 Million in Flexion Energy, a Joint Venture with ion Ventures to Scale UK Energy Storage Infrastructure and Support the UK’s Transition to Net Zero
Flexion intends to develop, build, own and manage energy storage systems in the UK, specifically large-scale batteries connected to and servicing the electricity grid. The company bridges the gap between the development and financing of energy storage sites.
Energy storage underpins the switch to renewable sources of energy, serving as a critical pillar in enabling electrification to help the UK meet its net-zero carbon emissions targets. Flexion’s development of storage infrastructure will help stabilise the transition to renewable energy in the UK and provide security to the grid by reducing volatility associated with the production of renewable energy.
This investment from GLIL will enable Flexion to construct and make operational an established pipeline of up to 300 MW of grid connected battery storage systems within the next 24 months. Furthermore, Flexion has an objective to deliver 1 GW of operational storage systems within five years.
Flexion benefits from the extensive track records of ion Ventures’ Co-Founders, Hassen Bali and Dan Taylor, both storage infrastructure experts who bring a unique blend of commercial and technical expertise to Flexion that spans more than 40 years. ion Ventures has been engaged by Flexion to provide development, operational and asset management services to Flexion as it develops its significant storage pipeline through to operations.
Their knowledge of the renewable energy sector and in-depth understanding of Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) is the result of achieving a number of “market firsts”, including the first Tesla grid-scale storage system in Europe, which saw one of the first uses of battery energy storage for grid-scale support in the UK, and the development of more than 200 MW of energy storage assets to date.
The deal is the eleventh investment by GLIL, the £2.5bn infrastructure fund backed by Local Pensions Partnership and Northern LGPS. In April, GLIL announced its appointment as an infrastructure investment partner for Government-established workplace pension provider Nest. Its investments to date include equity stakes in Anglian Water, Clyde Windfarm, Forth Ports, two fleets of trains with Rock Rail, a portfolio of PPP assets and investments in biomass and anaerobic digestion energy generation, and Agility Trains East (‘ATE’), a rolling stock fleet of 65 new intercity trains on the East Coast Mainline. Most recently, in April, it acquired UK energy infrastructure provider Smart Meter Assets 1 Ltd.
Dan Taylor and Hassen Bali, Co-Founders of Flexion Energy and ion Ventures, commented: “The requirement for energy storage in the UK is significant and growing as we transition to a lower carbon economy. Energy storage will play a central role in the energy transition, which is driven by the UK’s legally binding commitment for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and accelerated by the UK government’s recent Ten Point Plan, in addition to the rapidly evolving demand for electricity.
“The technical capabilities of our team will ensure that we stay ahead of future market shifts and that our approach remains resilient and differentiated. Flexion is technology agnostic and will take advantage of the continuing evolution of battery technology and innovation in the broader energy storage space.
“Public markets are already playing a big role in funding energy storage infrastructure, but the sector remains underserved and Flexion is seeking to address this. We welcome this investment from GLIL Infrastructure and look forward to achieving our clear long-term growth objectives that deploy cash generative assets.”
Jonathan Ord, Investment Director at GLIL Infrastructure, added: “Energy specialists like Flexion have a critical role to play in the country’s future infrastructure objectives. Our backing of the company ties in with our extensive plans to assist in the UK’s recovery and help to build a sustainable economy for the future through infrastructure investment. We look forward to working with Dan, Hassen and the team, and to providing stable, inflation-linked returns for our members.”
About Flexion Energy:
Flexion Energy is a modern utility and energy storage infrastructure specialist. Flexion Energy bridges the gap between development and finance in the energy storage sector – sourcing, developing and operating energy storage assets at scale in the UK. Founded by Dan Taylor and Hassen Bali, Flexion Energy has blended commercial and technical expertise to develop energy storage solutions which manage grid volatility during the transition to renewable energy. For more information, please visit https://flexion.energy/.
About GLIL Infrastructure:
GLIL is an Alternative Investment Fund with £2.475bn of committed capital. The fund was established in April 2015 by Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority. It was relaunched in 2018 as an Alternative Investment Fund to invest in infrastructure projects and is now supported by a number of UK Local Government Pension Funds, including Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire Pension Funds, which are known collectively as Northern LGPS, and Lancashire County Pension Fund, Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority, which form Local Pensions Partnership. In March 2021, GLIL was appointed as an infrastructure investment partner for Nest, the Government-established workplace pension provider. For more information, please visit: www.glil.co.uk
About ion Ventures:
ion Ventures was established in 2018 to exploit opportunities that arise from the increasing complexity of energy systems, the shift to distributed generation and more localised networks and the need for flexible and responsive solutions. ion Ventures specialises in utilising appropriate technology, combined with commercial expertise, to identify and deliver solutions that meet these challenges. The company’s management team collectively has more than 25 years’ experience in the clean energy industry, with a proven track record financing and developing clean energy projects, including energy storage.
For more information, please visit: https://www.ion.ventures/