PACE appoints new Investment Director to support its UK and international operations

Pathfinder Clean Energy’s team is growing with Julia Izabela Morant joining as Investment Director while we advance our lead assets into construction in the UK and Canada and expand further into new technologies and markets.

Julia has built extensive experience in the energy transition sector which complements our existing team. She will help us drive forward our current 4GW international portfolio of solar and energy storage projects which will materially contribute to creating an impact in the fight against climate change.

Rob Denman, Managing Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy said "PACE is delighted to welcome Julia as she brings her extensive knowledge, skills and experience to our team. Julia has worked at some of the most recognised businesses in global clean energy including Statkraft, Lightsource, IBVogt and now joins PACE at this exciting time in our growth to support our move to an integrated and end-to-end business model from development to operational innovation.  Julia will also lead the expansion of our operations in Poland and assist in other new markets’.

There's never been a more exciting time to join us as we tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition.

For more information on joining PACE or working with PACE please email: careers@pathfinderce.com


PACE appoints new Financial Accountant to support its UK and international expansion

PACE’s finance team continues to grow with the appointment of Pasquale Falzarano as Financial Accountant based out of London.

Pasquale will work as part of the accounts and finance team on the UK and international markets as the solar and energy storage project pipeline continues to grow and some assets move from development into construction and operation.

Pasquale is ACA qualified and brings experience of working for leading accounting firm PwC

Rob Denman, Managing Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy said: “As we lead the energy transition across our markets we are delighted to welcome Pasquale onto the PACE team. He will play a crucial role as we manage our development pipelines and the financing of these projects into construction and operation”. 

PACE has various open roles for passionate people who can bring benefits to the company and the sector and these can be found via the PACE website.

Pasquale will be based out of London, UK.


Mark Kelly joins PACE UK as UK Development Director

Pathfinder Clean Energy’s UK team is growing with Mark Kelly joining as UK Development Director to lead the origination and development of new and existing clean energy projects in the UK. 

Mark brings extensive experience in the energy transition sector to our team based in London, UK, aiming to drive forward our current 2GW UK portfolio of solar and energy storage. His role involves managing the development and spearheading innovation within our existing and upcoming UK projects as we navigate the expanding market landscape.

Rob Denman, Managing Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy, expressed his enthusiasm about Mark joining the team, highlighting his leadership and expertise in clean energy. Rob stated, "PACE is thrilled to welcome Mark aboard as he contributes his skills and experience to our home market. As a frontrunner in the UK's energy transition, we're excited to have Mark on board as we progress our 2GW pipeline from development to operation. With the integration of solar and energy storage projects into the grid, alongside our commitment to innovation through co-location with new and emerging technologies, there's never been a more exciting time to join us as we tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition and the fight against climate change."

For more information on joining PACE or working with PACE please email: careers@pathfinderce.com

 

UK Development Director, PACE UK

Based in London, United Kingdom

With over 15 years of international clean energy experience, Mark boasts a proven track record earned from renowned global energy companies. His proficiency spans the entire development cycle, from liaising with landowners, through building out sites to securing offtake agreements. Mark's expertise and energy will enable PACE UK to deliver its pipeline whilst capitalising on new and innovative approaches. Holding a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering and PRINCE2 practitioner qualification further solidifying his qualifications for the role.

 


Deron Motha joins PACE UK as Design Engineer

Pathfinder Clean Energy’s UK team is delighted to announce the addition of Deron Motha to our team as Design Engineer at PACE UK. Deron, a recent graduate of the University of Bristol, brings his expertise to bolster our inhouse team in designing, developing, and constructing clean energy projects both in the UK and across our international portfolio.

Rob Denman, Managing Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy, said: “We are committed to attracting top talent to our industry, and we are thrilled to welcome Deron aboard to help us navigate the complexities of project development and construction. His contributions will undoubtedly enhance our ability to deliver excellence across our projects.

For more information on joining PACE or working with PACE please email: careers@pathfinderce.com

 


Pathfinder Clean Energy UK submits 49MW co-located solar and energy storage project into planning

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), a UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar and battery storage projects, has submitted its latest co-located project with a capacity of 49.9MW of solar and an additional 30MW of battery storage.

The proposed ground-mounted scheme, known as Tydd Solar is located in Lincolnshire. It will generate enough power for around 22,300 homes each year, or the CO2 emissions equivalent of removing over 10,000 passenger vehicles from the road. Beyond its contribution to fighting climate change, Tydd Solar will also help reverse biodiversity and habitat loss by providing a Biodiversity Net Gain gain in excess of the 10% that is mandated for new developments. The design of the site allows for continued grazing, further reducing its impact on agricultural land. 

Rob Denman, Managing Director at PACE said, “We are delighted that our latest co-located project - Tydd Solar and ESS - has been submitted into planning. We are committed to developing and constructing flexible clean energy generation which the UK and the wider international market requires. Projects such as Tydd help the UK meet its legally-binding net-zero goals, but also improve energy security and help reduce energy bills at a time when costs are at the front of everyone’s mind. We’ve worked hard to identify a site that is both deliverable and developable per the government’s renewable energy policies and Tydd very clearly meets those criteria’.

‘With PACE Group’s UK and international teams and also our solar and energy storage pipelines increasing then 2024 has started strongly and is all set to continue this way’.


Pathfinder Clean Energy UK awarded planning approval for 69MW BESS project

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), a UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar and battery storage projects is delighted to announce the planning approval of its largest Battery and Energy Storage (BESS) project to date - with a first phase intended to be 69MW/138MWh.

The scheme, known as Thurleigh Road Energy Storage System (ESS), will provide important grid balancing services to support the UK’s transition to a renewable energy system. The site is located close to the Twinwoods industrial park in Bedfordshire and has been carefully chosen to be well away from residential properties. It is already well screened and the proposals also include new native hedges, which will provide habitats for local species.  

Rob Denman, Managing Director of PACE said, ‘PACE is delighted to announce planning approval for the Thurleigh Road ESS Park. This follows closely on the announcement of our permitting approval of our Grange 70MWp project at the end of 2023’.

Rob said, ‘Energy storage will play a substantial role in the route to Net-Zero and this project complements our various solar generation and solar+storage co-located projects in the UK and internationally. We continue to evaluate ways we can optimise our projects with the addition of new and existing technologies including solar, wind, green hydrogen but this is an exciting project that can connect as soon as constructed and make a contribution to the fight against climate change. This project we anticipate will be initially a 69MW/138MWh project’'.


PACE Canada team grows as Jon Poulin joins the team as Development Director

PACE Canada is delighted to announce the appointment of Jon Poulin as Director of Development and Engineering to work with the existing team and drive the development of the current 1.9GW solar and battery storage portfolio in Canada.

Jon will lead the team in Calgary under the Managing Director of Development, Claude Mindorff. He will work with the local and wider international team to bring new approaches to the renewable sector to meet the current and upcoming needs of the Alberta Integrated Electrical System energy only market.

Jon has 15 years of experience across generation, transmission, and mining sectors including renewables and battery energy storage.  With a rich background in project management and electrical engineering, Jon has directly supported the development of over 800MW in projects across Alberta and including building one of the first independently owned distribution-connected solar facility in Saskatchewan. 

Rob Denman, President of PACE Canada and Managing Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy said: “We are delighted to welcome Jon to the team. Even though we have had some political challenges in Alberta - that we hope to clear early in 2024 - we strongly believe in clean energy and how we can bring solar, energy storage and additional technologies to the market to the benefit of the country. By combining the talents and experience of our international team with the growing local capabilities we look forward to Jon leading the on-the-ground Development to make a significant contribution to decarbonising the Alberta and wider Canadian markets.”

For more information on joining PACE or working with PACE please email: careers@pathfinderce.com


Pathfinder Clean Energy submits planning appeal for 6MW solar farm in Gloucestershire, UK

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), a UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar and battery storage projects, has submitted into appeal the Stream 6 MW project near Upleadon in the Forest of Dean.

The proposed ground-mounted scheme, known as Stream Solar, would generate enough power for around 2,800 homes each year which is the equivalent of displacing over 1,900 tonnes of CO2e. It was refused by Forest of Dean’s planning committee against the advice of its planning officers, which led to PACE deciding to submit an appeal to the Secretary of State. A decision is expected within months.

Alex Ross, Development Director of Pathfinder Clean Energy said: “PACE agrees with the planning officers that Stream is a great site for a solar farm and we are confident that the appeal will gain the support of the Planning Inspector in the next few months.  This project has been in development for a considerable time as we carefully considered the location and design to bring forward the best project we can. PV panels have an extremely light footprint within the fields they occupy, leaving many opportunities to improve biodiversity through active management for ecological and wildlife enhancements”.

“The solar farm will increase the wildlife habitat by creating new meadows, increasing hedgerows and native species planting, and temporarily replacing arable land with meadow and grazing. No agricultural land will be lost and sheep can graze under and around the solar panels during operation.”.

Rob Denman, Managing Director, also added, ‘Although one of our smaller sites we are committed to developing projects that fit with the local environment and consider our proposals balance the local requirements of this site. We look forward to engaging with the appeal process and coming to a positive outcome’.


Pathfinder Clean Energy commences development for Middle Road Solar - a 49MW solar farm, co-located with BESS in Fenland, Cambridgeshire, UK

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), a UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar and battery storage projects, has commenced the development and EIA screening for its latest project - Middle Road Solar - a 49MW solar project co-located with battery energy storage near Whittlesey.

The proposed ground-mounted scheme, known as Middle Road Solar, would generate enough power for nearly 24,000 homes each year or the CO2 emissions equivalent of removing over 13,000 passenger vehicles from the road. The proposals also include 30MW of battery energy storage.

Rob Denman, Managing Director at PACE said, “This project will build on PACE’s recent successes, including the 50MW Grange Solar Farm approved in October. Middle Road will supply clean renewable energy to the local area while its batteries will ensure this energy is available when it is most needed. As with all our projects, we will be seeking significant biodiversity gains to tackle the country’s combined challenges of climate change, energy security and species decline. The full planning application is expected to be submitted in early 2024.”


PACE UK prioritizes utility scale Solar + BESS co-location to unlock value from renewables assets

The innovation necessary to ensure the successful delivery of the energy transition presents investors with opportunities to optimise their portfolios with new asset classes capable of providing healthy returns and supporting accelerated paths to decarbonisation. 

One of the key answers to intermittent production, energy curtailment and grid limitations are Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) that can provide resilience and flexibility to energy markets. The co-location of BESS and renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar, presents a logical and innovative solution. 

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE), the UK-headquartered international developer of utility scale solar PV and BESS projects, is to prioritise co-location in the UK as it seeks to lead the industry in developing strong and flexible assets.

Utility scale co-location is an emerging asset class, with limited transactional data currently available, but PACE’s analysis suggests that it can provide a premium of up to 3 percentage points on the returns over and above stand-alone merchant PV assets. At the same time, exposure to merchant price risk is lower than that of stand-alone PV assets. 

“Co-location has huge potential to increase returns and reduce risk as well as providing a better asset for the UK energy market. PACE sees co-location as critical to its strategy in the UK and internationally,” said Rob Denman, managing director of PACE. “As an industry we need to innovate constantly to deliver projects that bring value to the energy markets and their transition to decarbonisation. At PACE, we’re proud to lead this activity.”

 

The benefits of co-location include:

  • Increased resilience of income – Renewable energy brings lower cost electricity to the market, but its intermittency brings volatility. As wind and solar grows in the UK and global power mix, colocation of generation and storage assets increases resilience:
    • Reducing energy waste – during periods of curtailment, also forecast to increase with growing renewables deployment, power generated by solar panels can be diverted from grid export to the BESS, meaning less power is wasted.
    • Improving price capture (compared to a stand-alone PV system) – power generated does not need to be sold immediately, but can be stored and sold when prices are more favourable.
  • Hedging price risk – Where solar PV projects are entirely dependent on absolute power values, BESS projects trade primarily off the volatility in the intra-day power markets. Co-location thus reduces price risk in 2 ways:
    • Mutual price hedging - High levels of solar PV output can depress or “cannibalise” power prices because demand for power rarely matches peaks in solar PV output. However, cannibalisation creates arbitrage opportunities for BESS, which can buy power when it is cheap and dispatch the power when prices have firmed up. Likewise, lower cannibalisation will favour solar PV at the expense of BESS. The two technologies thus provide a mutual hedge for a key price risk. 
    • Un-correlated revenues - BESS projects have access to revenues that are independent of absolute power prices, such as Dynamic Containment – the ability to manage the balance of supply and demand in real-time - and other ancillary services, the capacity market and local balancing. This means that BESS revenues are only partially correlated with solar PV revenues, providing further risk mitigation.
  • Shared grid connection costs – a single connection can be used for both the PV and BESS system, which reduces the costs when compared to stand-alone assets. PACE’s modelling suggests that a stand-alone asset might use around 14% of total grid capacity over the course of a year, whereas a co-located asset, in the same location, might use around 29% of grid capacity. This is partly attributable to the BESS using the grid connection to import and export power when the solar PV is not using all of the connection capacity. In particular, power markets are at their most volatile on winter evenings when the grid connection is not used by the solar PV.

 

As well as improved financial returns, co-located assets help to relieve grid congestion at peak generation times by delaying power exports. This allows for more renewables to be connected without the need for investment in the grid, meaning that the Government’s net zero pledges can be met at a lower cost.

PACE has over 260 MWp of solar projects fully permitted or submitted into planning and across this portfolio is looking to co-locate over 100 MW / 200 MWh of energy storage. Over 120 MWp of solar and 90 MW / 180 MWh is targeted to commence construction in 2024.

Also read our article on clean energy, the: ‘Sunrise Investment’