The massive blackout that hit the UK earlier this month has highlighted the fragility of the country's electricity system.
Thousands of businesses and an estimated million people were affected by power cuts on Friday 9 August, with disruption spreading across trains and road networks.
With the increasing adoption of electric vehicles expected to put further strain on the system, businesses large and small are planning for the future.
But a red flag over the national power grid could point more customers towards Aggregated Micro Products Holdings PLC (LON:AMPH), which runs a grid-balancing business called Urban Reserve.
In November, AMP said it was being taken private in a deal that values the biomass wood fuels and low carbon heat and power specialist at £63.1mln, with shares to be bought at a 32% premium.
In November, the board recommended a 90p per share offer from a Spanish investor, Asterion Industrial Infra Fund, representing a 32% premium to the closing stock price.
Chief executive Richard Burrell said the offer for the firm had been an “attractive” one, which also provided it with “right partner to help fund its next phase of growth”.
“With access to further capital from Asterion, AMP Clean Energy will be able to continue to capitalise on its key strength of developing, operating and aggregating small-scale assets and in doing so, delivering energy close to the point of consumption, where and when it is needed most," he added.
Neil Eckert, executive chairman, called the deal "the culmination of a successful journey for AMP Clean Energy".
Stand-by for more power
Currently, AMP currently generates most of its revenues from its businesses supplying biomass wood pellets and installing biomass boiler and biomass CHP systems.
But in April, AMP said it had submitted planning applications for 13 sites for Urban Reserve, amounting to 49.7 megawatts (Mw) of generation capacity.
In aggregate, this will provide a shovel ready portfolio of circa 50 Mw, putting the company halfway to achieving its revised short-to-medium term target of cranking out 100 Mw a year.
Richard Burrell, AMP's chief executive, believes the extra electricity capacity needed to supply EVs has yet to be addressed and that is another reason to diversify the business into stand-by power and EV charging.
Stand-by power units only require planning permission and a connection to the gas network, says Burrell, who adds that as its generators are roughly the size of two containers they can easily fit on bits of unused land.
And Burrell sees many synergies between this business and new EV charging outlets.
“A small-scale power generator is an attractive proposition. It’s all about providing power where it’s needed most,” he told Proactive in January.
“We are believers in clean energy distributed at down a local level and not dependent on National Grid or big power stations.