Construction begins following £235 million long-term debt financing facility. Image: Zenobē.

Zenobē Energy has started construction of a 300MW/600MWh battery energy storage project in Blackhillock, Scotland, following the news earlier this week of a £235 million long-term debt facility secured from five banks.

The project, which will be situated between Aberdeen and Inverness, will be the first in the world to deliver stability services using a transmission connected battery, the firm said. This is a key milestone in the company’s ambition to deliver 1GW of battery energy storage in Scotland.

Once fully operational, the battery asset will have a capacity of 300MW/600MWh. The first phase will see 200MW developed and is set to go live in the summer of 2024. The second phase will develop an additional 100MW and is scheduled to go live in 2026.

The project will enable further uptake of renewable power in the region and facilitate offshore wind farms at Viking and Beatrice. 

Wärtsilä, H&MV, SMA Solar Technology AG and GE Grid Solutions have been selected as key suppliers for the project.

“Our battery at Blackhillock will use cutting edge technology to provide essential services needed to lower consumer bills and bring more renewable energy onto the grid. By partnering with experts at Wärtsilä, H&MV, SMA Solar Technology AG and GE Grid Solutions, we look forward to bringing this project to fruition and accelerating the UK towards a zero-carbon energy system,” said James Basden, co-founder and director of Zenobē.

“This is one of several major battery flexibility projects we’re working on in Scotland at the moment, shaping the future for how grid scale battery projects will work on grids across the globe.”

Financial close of the Blackhillock project had been achieved via the above mentioned £235 million long-term debt facility. The financing comes from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Rabobank, Santander UK, Siemens Financial Services through Siemens Bank and NatWest, with the loan representing the largest project finance facility for battery storage projects to be arranged in Europe, according to Zenobe.

The battery asset will be developed as part of a £750 million expansion into Scotland with plans to create a portfolio of over 1GW in battery energy storage.

Zenobē announced recently that its 100MW/107MWh Capenhurst battery energy storage system had started delivering reactive power services to the grid. The Capenhurst BESS, located in Chester, is the largest battery project directly connected to the transmission grid anywhere in Europe, according to Zenobē.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the 8th annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.