Zenobē commences construction of its Kilmarnock South battery project, in drive to maximise renewables and reduce the cost of wasted wind ​

Aerial view of Zenobē's 300MW battery energy storage site in construction in Blackhillock, Scotland (Copyright Zenobē)

Thursday 25th January 2024

  • Zenobē reaches financial close and begins construction of its Kilmarnock South battery project, a transformative 300MW/600MWh asset to reduce wasted wind energy and power Scotland’s renewable energy future.  
  • As part of Zenobē’s £750 million commitment to doubling Scotland’s battery storage capacity in just three years, the operation is due online in late 2025, propelling the nation towards energy autonomy. 
  • The company’s 1.2GW battery storage portfolio in Scotland aims to decrease energy bills by an estimated £1 billion through reduced curtailment costs over a period of 15 years.  
  • SMA Solar Technology AG, EDF, Wärtsilä, Omexom and GE Grid Solutions are appointed as suppliers to the project.  

Zenobē, a leader in fleet electrification and battery storage, has solidified its commitment to doubling storage capacity in Scotland by commencing construction of Kilmarnock South – the third major investment of a large programme of battery storage assets. The portfolio of assets will enable the country to become a world leader in renewables, ensuring its abundant wind generation does not go to waste. Expected to be operational by late 2025, this initiative is a strategic move in Zenobē’s drive to maximise renewables and reduce the cost of wasted wind to consumers.   

The Kilmarnock South project by Zenobē represents a major step forward in battery storage innovation and will deliver significant benefits to households. As a critical component of Zenobē’s 1.2GW Scottish storage portfolio, the project is anticipated to contribute to a saving of up to £1 billion in energy costs for families over the next 15 years, thanks to its focus on reducing energy system inefficiencies. 

Equally, the site is expected to prevent 3,400,000 tonnes of CO2 over the same period. The project aligns with Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy objectives and equips the country with the most advanced technology to manage renewable power globally. 

Funding for the project was arranged by NatWest and supported by an international consortium of investors, underlining the growing market demand for grid-scale battery storage asset development.  

With a total investment of £750 million forecast across Zenobē’s portfolio of Scottish sites, the Kilmarnock South project is central to the business’ plan to maximise the UK’s supply of renewable energy. Today’s announcement follows last November’s launch of Zenobē’s 50MW grid-connected battery in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire. The battery, strategically placed to harness Scotland’s abundant wind generation from offshore wind farms, was the first of Zenobē’s portfolio of projects in Scotland to go live and the first to connect directly onto the Scottish transmission network. It is estimated to power 130,000 homes in Scotland for two hours, using electricity that would have otherwise gone to waste due to lack of capacity to store surplus wind power. 

Zenobē has selected several market leading suppliers that are developing key technologies to deliver large-scale battery storage facilities.  

SMA Solar Technology AG will provide battery inverters and medium voltage power stations with Wärtsilä appointed as the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) supplier. Omexom will provide Balance of Plant works and GE Grid Solutions, a Business of GE Vernova will deliver two 180MVA transformers, manufactured in Stafford, to the project. EDF has been chosen as trading and optimisation partner on the project. 

James Basden, Founder, Zenobē, commented: “Reaching this significant milestone demonstrates Zenobē’s commitment to stopping the waste of wind power by doubling Scotland’s battery storage capacity. Kilmarnock South will enhance the country’s position as a leader in delivering energy that is cost-effective, clean and efficient. This is an important moment as we bolster the UK’s energy infrastructure and help to ensure that every household feels the benefits of sustainable, affordable electricity”. 

Stuart Fenner, Director of WMS Commercial at EDF said: “We are delighted that the team at Zenobē have chosen EDF as their trading and optimisation partner on their pioneering battery storage project Kilmarnock. As a leading battery optimisation services provider, the long-term agreement will see EDF optimise the battery through its market leading trading platform Powershift. This continued partnership will provide essential flexibility to the energy system and reinforces EDF’s commitment to helping Britain achieve net zero.”  

Simon Innis, Managing Director, Omexom UK and Ireland, said: ” Omexom UK is committed to achieving the potential of the energy transition, and this project aligns seamlessly with our core mission. With a proven track record of successfully implementing Battery Storage Systems Solutions (BESS) across the UK, Omexom UK is thrilled to be selected by Zenobē to contribute to this pivotal initiative. Together, we are poised to play a significant role in empowering Scotland to achieve its ambitious energy and environmental objectives.” 

Aaron Gerdemann, Senior Business Development Manager, SMA Solar Technology AG, said: “Once again SMA is proud to be contributing to one of Zenobē’s projects, particularly as it shows our leading position in Grid Forming Solutions and stability service provision. The close collaboration during design phase produced a unique, technologically advanced and economically viable stability solution for the interconnection to UK’s transmission system. Using battery energy storage solutions as a multi-purpose tool addressing the time-shift between demand and renewable generation, traditional ancillary services and stacking stability services on top reflects a forward-looking approach to advancing renewable energy solutions. This new asset class will have a positive impact in the international energy transition area”. 

Andy Tang, Vice President, Wärtsilä Energy Storage & Optimisation, said: “Wärtsilä is proud to work with Zenobē on the Kilmarnock South project, which is the second energy storage facility we’re building together, and further support the transition to renewable energy in Scotland. The new site will utilise Wärtsilä’s latest energy storage technology, called Quantum High Energy, which provides increased energy density for Zenobē and is fitted with state-of-the-art features to ensure the highest level of safety for the surrounding community.” 

Following a substantial infusion of capital including c. £600 million from KKR and c.£270 million from Infracapital, Zenobē is ready to grow its battery storage and EV fleet businesses in the UK and other markets including Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. 

ENDS 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

For all media enquiries, please contact the Zenobēpress office team: 
E: ZenobeMedia@stonehaven.uk.com  
T: 07985705232  

About Zenobē Energy Ltd. (Zenobē):   

Zenobē is an EV fleet and grid-scale battery storage specialist, headquartered in the UK.  The company began operations in 2017 with three founders and has over the past 6 years increased its staff to >250 FTEs with a wide range of leading skills including electrical engineering, software development, computer sciences and financing.  It now operates in Europe and Australasia and is expanding into North America. Zenobē has 730MW of battery storage in operation or under construction with another 900MW of projects in advanced development in the UK which equates to circa 20% market share forecast by 2026. In February 2023, Zenobē began construction of Blackhillock, a 300MW/600MWh BESS once fully built, that will be the first in the world to deliver Stability Services using a transmission-connected battery. It will provide short-circuit level and inertia, essential for the grid to function efficiently as fossil fuel plants phase out, and ease network constraints by importing electricity at times of peak renewable generation. 

Zenobe has around 25% market share of the UK EV bus sector and over 1,000 electric vehicles supported globally. The company is the largest owner and operator of EV buses in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  

For more information, please visit www.zenobe.com/  or follow on LinkedIn. 

CO2 savings are benchmarked against the provision of power and/or Stability services versus a gas peaking plant (540gCO2e/kWh) or CCGT (450g CO2 e/kWh, operating at Stable Export Limit for provision of Stability services), depending on the time of operation. Carbon intensity of imported energy to charge the battery is assumed as per the GB-wide forecast (annual, average) in NGESO’s Future Energy Scenario, ‘Leading the Way’. This is a conservative assumption considering the high penetration of renewable generation and otherwise curtailed power in Scotland. 

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Peter Smith

Head of Product

Pete leads Zenobē’s growing team of Product specialists across all areas of the business. His team oversee our R&D as well as product development in both hardware and software.

 

He has been working in the European E-Mobility sector from over ten years, specialising in the design, build and delivery of software systems for EV Charging.