Capenhurst 100 MW Battery: A World First

Zenobe is building the first battery to absorb reactive power direct from a transmission network in the world. It will also be the largest transmission connected battery in Europe.

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The Challenge

The demand for reactive powers services to help manage voltage levels is growing due to the rapid uptake of renewable power generation. As part of its Pathfinder programme, National Grid, the UK’s Electricity System Operator (ESO), conducted a tender for the provision of reactive power in the Mersey region of the UK. This gave an opportunity for new technology businesses to demonstrate how their solutions deliver better outcomes for the environment and consumers than traditional providers.

Zenobe's Capenhurst project will be the first battery to absorb reactive power direct from a transmission network in the world.

The Solution

Zenobe’s specialist high voltage engineering team worked with our supply chain partners to optimise not only the absorption of reactive power but also active power services that run concurrently. This innovative design, which included a direct connection onto the 275Kv bay, has enable the stacking of multiple active power, capacity and voltage services to deliver the lowest cost to the consumer and to make a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Zenobe’s solution results in minimal impact on the environment and local community whilst also adding several habitat enhancements.

Zenobe won a nine year contract to deliver 40MVar of reactive power services in May 2020. This was the first time a battery has delivered this type of service anywhere in the world.

Later, we were the first to use the revision to England’s planning regime for generation assets to build a 100MW facility which is also Europe’s largest transmission connected battery when commissioned in early 2022.

The Capenhurst site will ensure secure of power supply for the Mersey region with a reactive power service delivered at substantially lower cost to consumers. Over the next 15 years it is forecast to remove 1,004,040 tonnes of CO2 compared to traditional sources. This project is a significant milestone towards enabling not only a zero carbon power system but also the delivery of UK’s Net Zero commitments.

In numbers


Total tonnes of CO2 saved over 15 years


Equivalent number of trees


The number of trees that would need to be planted and left alone untouched for 100years

Key Milestones

  • The first battery to absorb reactive power direct from a transmission network in the world
  • The largest transmission connected battery in Europe
  • The first battery in England to use the revised planning regime to enable 100MW battery