Welsh Power has agreed a 25 year lease on 13,719 sq ft at Oak Park Industrial Estate on Northarbour Road. The warehouse and office site had been home to Rolls Royce for over 10 years. It originally housed part of the Rolls Royce Marine Electrical Systems operations, but following the decision to reduce the size of the business this location was surplus to requirement.
Welsh Power is working with its partners to establish a series of reserve power plants across the UK. Since initially agreeing terms, Welsh Power submitted an application for change of use to Portsmouth City Council. Permission for a Short Term Operating Reserve and Peak Power (‘STOR’) generating plant, now been granted by the Council and work has just begun.
Commenting on the transaction, Holloway Iliffe & Mitchell Director Tom Holloway said: “Quality industrial space across the south coast remains increasingly scarce with little or no speculative development. However Welsh Power’s decision to take a long term year lease shows that with imagination and good planning, there are ways to transform existing space. With the growing requirement for reserve power, this type of transaction could be replicated in many parts of the UK.”
Alastair Fraser, Chief Executive of Welsh Power added: “There is a growing need for this type of small efficient distributed facility to support the change to a low carbon sustainable energy system in the UK. The Northarbour site in conjunction with a growing number of similar developments across the country will play an important role in balancing our electricity network which is increasingly reliant on clean renewable but intermittent energy sources. The location and the ease of connectivity back to the Grid played an important part in our decision to take a long term lease here and we hope to have the plant in operation by December this year.”