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East Midlands Chamber News

Foresight invests £2m into Mercia Power Response

Foresight Nottingham Fund, the £40m regional fund for growth businesses in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, has announced the investment of £2m in local peaking power developer, Mercia Power Response.

Mercia Power Response is a Nottingham-based start-up formed by entrepreneurs Andrew Leach and Graham White.

It is formed against concerns that, under certain market conditions, the UK may struggle to meet power demand, especially in peak winter periods.

Mercia Power Response will develop fast response, local generation able to provide communities with power at times of peak demand or shortfalls in supply.

From the Company’s headquarters in Nottingham, Managing Director Graham White plans to grow a team over time to help him develop and manage up to 150MW of capacity in the East Midlands and across the UK.

Graham White and Andrew Leach have been working in this market for a number of years and will be joined by veteran power executive Paul Adair as Chairman.

Paul will assist with strategic planning and achieving the Company’s aggressive growth targets.

The peaking power capacity developed by the company will help cover demand peaks and short term supply shortfalls. Typically these demand peaks occur in the morning as people get up and go to work and factories switch on equipment. Similarly, in the evening, there is a “lighting up time” as it gets dark and people get home cook and fire up entertainment systems.

In addition, there are “super demand” peaks following, for example, the FA or World Cup finals, when tea is made and toilets are flushed (pumping water uses a lot of energy).

However, more recently the network has suffered from significant variation in supply, as wind or solar suddenly come off line due to short term changes in weather conditions.

Roger Harcourt from Shakespeare Martineau’s Nottingham office advised the Fund on the transaction.

Matt Smith, Director of Foresight Group LLP said: “We are delighted to be supporting this ambitious management team through the investment in Mercia Power Response, which is a great example of the entrepreneurial talent available in the region.

Graham White of Mercia Power Response said: “We believe we are addressing a gap in the power generation market and have aggressive plans to grow our managed capacity with the support of the Foresight Nottingham Fund.”

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council said: “This investment is an excellent example of why the Fund was set-up as part of Nottingham’s City Deal.

"Mercia Power Response represents an exciting young business with real potential for growth. Nottingham already has a strong track record of innovation in energy and sustainability, including the recent launch of Robin Hood Energy. Foresight Group also has a great reputation for investing successfully in this area. I look forward to seeing Andrew and Graham grow this business and create jobs in the City over the next few years.”

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