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Gresham House Energy favours buyback over payout; commissioning slow

1st Feb 2024 11:08

(Alliance News) - Gresham House Energy Storage Fund PLC on Thursday said it decided against declaring a dividend for the fourth quarter of 2023 as it continued to be hurt by a weak revenue environment.

For the fourth quarter of 2022, it had declared a 1.75p dividend.

The Gresham House-managed fund invests for income from utility-scale battery energy storage systems.

Instead of the dividend, it plans to start a share buyback programme, noting a recent sharp decline in its share price.

Gresham House shares fell 16% to 48.50 pence each on Thursday morning in London. The stock is down 70% over the past 12 months.

The company said that battery energy storage systems are "significantly" under-utilised in the National Grid PLC electricity system operator balancing mechanism.

Further, it noted a slower than expected pace of commissioning new projects to date due to elongated grid connection times.

Chief Executive Officer John Leggate said: "The UK's need for increased energy storage capacity remains as clear as ever given the rising levels of committed renewable generation coming online over the period to 2030. In turn, clean energy dominates energy output more and more frequently, as legacy gas-fired electricity generation continues to be squeezed off the system by cheaper renewables, with battery storage the clear technological leader in tackling the consequential rising intermittency."

Ben Guest, fund manager of the company, said: "[Electricity system operator] has always said that its balancing programme progress will occur in stages during 2024 and we look forward to learning of and reporting on progress, particularly around the imminent launch of balancing reserve in March 2024, as well as communicating continued progress on our construction and asset enhancement programme."

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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