Battery for United Utilities

Zenobe installed and operates a behind-the-meter battery at United Utilities’ Preston wastewater treatment plant to lower costs and reduce emissions.

Zenobē installed and operates a behind-the-meter battery at United Utilities’ Preston wastewater treatment plant to lower costs and reduce emissions.

The Challenge

The water sector has committed to achieving net zero by 2030 and is facing ever tougher power resilience and environmental standards by Ofwat, the UK regulator of the water sector. United Utilities, the UK’s largest listed water company in North West England with seven million customers, intends to be a leader in achieving the highest environmental standards whilst providing value for money for its customers. To achieve these goals, United Utilities sought to lower operating costs and significantly reduce their carbon footprint to meet their net zero emissions target. Together, Zenobē and United Utilities selected the Clifton Marsh Wastewater Treatment site at Preston to demonstrate how battery storage can deliver these objectives.

To both lower costs and reduce environmental impact, Zenobē partnered with United Utilities and installed a 2MW battery at its Preston wastewater treatment facility.

The Solution

Using its in house team of analysts, Zenobē modelled how to optimise the characteristics of the site. This included capturing any excess solar power on site to release at times of higher power prices, generating revenue from balancing services, saving costs through peak shaving and improving resilience thanks to a 2MW battery solution. We have provided this capability as a managed service – designing, sourcing, financing, constructing and maintaining the battery over the 15 year life of the contract. Since the benefits are shared between Zenobē and United Utilities, the commercial strategy is jointly developed and regularly reviewed. We use our own proprietary software to manage the asset and integrate this battery into its own extensive portfolio of batteries in the UK when appropriate. The result reduces operational costs and risks at the site, as well as reducing CO2 emissions, with no upfront CAPEX or the hassle of managing what is a complex asset working in a rapidly changing market.

“Having an electricity storage facility on site is really useful. It means we can make the most of any available green energy. Not only is that good for the environment it is good for our business too. Energy is one of a water company’s largest operational costs. By generating our own power, we can protect United Utilities from a volatile energy market, which will allow us to predict our cost of treatment and stabilise bills for our customers

The batteries will also allow us to help the National Grid even out the peaks and troughs in power demand throughout the day. This is exactly the sort of innovation water companies need to be embracing if we are to meet the sector’s goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2030″

  Steve Slavin, Head of Renewable Energy at United Utilities

In numbers


Tonnes of CO2 saved from entering the atmosphere per year

Key Results

  • No upfront costs
  • Lower operating costs
  • Reduced emissions