Ardian invests in 38.5 MW Finnish BESS project

Ardian, a private investment firm, and its operating platform eNordic have announced a Final Investment Decision (FID) to construct the Mertaniemi battery energy storage project, a 38.5 MW one-hour utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) to support the Finnish power grid.

The Ardian Clean Energy Evergreen Fund (ACEEF) has made its first investment in the BESS asset class, which is predicted to increase dramatically in size from 11 GWh of installed capacity in Europe today to 75 GWh by 2030, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Ardian evaluated the prospects of this investment using OPTA, the company’s proprietary data analysis platform that drives revenue and operational strategies throughout its worldwide renewable infrastructure portfolio.

The project is consistent with Finland’s ACEEF strategy, which aims to buy and aggregate wind and solar power assets to benefit from economies of scale and better use grid interconnection points by creating battery storage assets. This comes after the acquisition of two wind farms in Finland in 2023, totaling more than 27 MW. The approach is being carried out by eNordic, a renewable energy platform built and entirely owned by Ardian to service the Nordic region.

The Mertaniemi battery energy storage project is a cooperative venture between ACEEF and Lappeenrannan Energia, a Finnish municipal energy business. It will result in the creation of a 1-hour 38.5 MW energy storage system. The project is due to complete in spring 2025 and is located near the Mertaniemi power plant in Lappeenranta.
In addition to the energy storage system, the project involves the construction of structures to safeguard the batteries from adverse weather conditions. Once completed, the system will participate in the local grid’s frequency reserve markets and help to balance production and demand on the power grid. The ACEEF will continue to implement its goal to expand the platform in Finland, acquiring additional wind and battery assets in the region.

More generally, Ardian’s renewable energy investment portfolio in the Nordic countries now totals €1.2 billion. It includes wind parks totaling more than 500 MW, as well as the renewable energy company Nevel, which operates in district heating, industrial utilities, and biogas in Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. Recently Ardian announced acquisition of Verne Global, a company who owns and operates three data centres in Finland; this acquisition is still in the approval process by local authorities.

“The investment in a new battery storage system, which is a first for Ardian’s clean energy evergreen fund, is an essential part of our strategy in Finland. We identified an opportunity to scale Finland’s wind capacity and connect battery storage technology to create a balanced and productive energy system. With our existing strong presence and network in the Nordic countries, and our expertise in financing and operating long-term renewables projects, Ardian is perfectly placed to foster this new market opportunity,” said Benjamin Kennedy, Managing Director Renewables Infrastructure, Ardian.

“Ardian is dedicated to driving forward the energy transition and helping to scale renewable technology to reduce carbon emissions. Renewable energy is now being generated at an unprecedented rate and building power storage solutions is vital for helping balance supply and demand to the grid, for the creation of a stable modern electricity network. This investment is a significant step towards a more sustainable and reliable energy future in Finland,” added Mathias Burghardt, Executive Vice President and Head of Infrastructure, Ardian.

“The Nordic energy market is already ahead of the curve regarding the energy transition, largely due to the volume of emerging technological developments. Mertaniemi battery energy storage project exemplifies eNordic’s position at the forefront of this movement, helping realise the region’s ambition to become a leading player in sustainable energy,” commented Eero Auranne, CEO of eNordic.

The project is due to complete in spring 2025 and is located near the Mertaniemi power plant in Lappeenranta.

Source: Ardian

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