Distributed energy firm UK Power Reserve (UKPR) has been acquired by Singapore-headquartered energy supplier Sembcorp Industries for £216m ($288m).

In a statement, Sembcorp said it had reached an agreement this week to acquire UKPR’s business and assets, which include over 1 GW of flexible installed capacity in the UK.

UKPR’s small-scale, fast-ramping gas-fired power plants are spread across 32 locations in England and Wales, comprising 533 MW in operation and a further 480 MW in construction or development. The latter portfolio, which includes 120 MW of rapid response battery energy storage, is expected to come online by 2019.

Sembcorp said the acquisition will give it “an important foothold in distributed energy generation – the fastest growing sector in the UK power market”.

The firm added that UKPR’s assets will “help supplement renewable power supplies and add resilience to the national grid by providing high-value rapid response ancillary services to balance the system.

“This role is increasingly needed in the UK power market today given the closure of older thermal plants and the growth of renewable energy sources, which face intermittency.”

Nomi Ahmad, head of Sembcorp’s UK utilities business, said his firm was “delighted to have secured this exciting business, which deepens our presence in the UK considerably and provides major opportunities for further expansion.”

Sembcorp UK operates 210 MW of generation capacity at Wilton International industrial site in Teesside, England, comprising combined heat and power (CHP), steam power and renewable generation which supply energy-intensive industrial and commercial customers.

The firm is also seeking UK planning approval to develop two combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units of up to 1700 MW.

“UKPR and Sembcorp’s existing Teesside business will form a strong integrated energy business in the UK, combining centralized services with multiple flexible assets across the country along with expertise across the full spectrum of UK energy markets,” Ahmad added.