Zenobē secures £147 million of project finance debt to advance Scotland’s leadership in Renewable Energy

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

25 January 2024

  • Zenobē secures £147m long-term debt to fund its pivotal battery storage site in Kilmarnock South, Scotland, a 300MW/600MWh asset to enhance Scotland’s renewable energy capacity 
  • This facility is additional to the £101m debt financing secured in February 2023 to finance the construction of 200MW/400MWh Blackhillock project in Scotland.  
  • Combined £282 million facility is the largest greenfield standalone BESS debt financing in Europe 
  • This strategic site contributes to preventing the emission of approximately 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over 15 years 
  • A significant contribution to driving Scotland’s energy future, Kilmarnock South reflects Zenobē’s ongoing £750 million investment in Scotland’s green infrastructure, with operations launching in late 2025 

As Scotland progresses on its course to become a global leader in renewables, Zenobē, a specialist in fleet electrification and battery storage announces the completion of a further debt backing of £147 million for its anticipated Kilmarnock South project. Expected to be operational in 2025, this venture underscores Zenobē’s commitment to facilitating a renewable energy economy and the growing confidence in the battery storage assets market. 

The financing, structured by NatWest, is supported by leading infrastructure banks including ABN AMRO, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, NatWest, Rabobank, Santander UK, Siemens Financial Services through Siemens Bank and SMBC Group. It fortifies Zenobē’s ambition to minimise carbon emissions and double Scotland’s storage power capacity. 

Kilmarnock South is announced as construction continues at Zenobē’s 200MW/400MWh Blackhillock site near Inverness. The original debt facility sized to support Blackhillock and Kilmarnock South has been upsized due to the new project securing a larger project energy capacity. This upsize is supported by two new lenders, ABN AMRO and SMBC Group, acceding to the debt financing platform. By 2026, the business aims to deliver 1.2GW of battery storage projects that are already in development, with a strong pipeline in the UK and overseas. Zenobe’s financing package also includes a further £400m accordion to support further pipeline projects and augmentation of existing sites in the UK. 

Projected to prevent 3,450,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere over a 15-year period, Kilmarnock South is one of several projects, totalling over £750 million investment that Zenobē is building in Scotland. At over 1GW of capacity, these sites will provide stability services, essential grid-services which will contribute to the lowering of consumer bills and the UK’s acceleration towards net zero.  

Kilmarnock South BESS is an integral piece of Scotland’s renewables landscape, leveraging Zenobē’s extensive £750 million portfolio to spearhead the burgeoning Scottish and UK energy landscape. Zenobē’s recently launched 50MW battery in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, is strategically placed to curb the waste of homegrown renewable energy. The battery is estimated to pass on £41m in savings to consumers over 15 years by reducing the need to pay wind generators to switch off – known as curtailment costs.   

Nicholas Beatty, Co-Founder of Zenobē, commented, “This latest round of debt financing is a further endorsement of Zenobē’s ambition to deploy battery storage assets across Scotland to curb the waste of valuable wind power and our success in increasing the financial support from financial institutions to achieve our targets. Our investment in Kilmarnock South fortifies Zenobe’s position in Scotland as the leader in developing clean and efficient energy generation and storage to power homes and business with affordable energy that would otherwise have been wasted.” 

Joe Taylor, Head of Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance at NatWest, commented, “Delivery of this incremental funding package to enable the construction of Zenobē’s pivotal battery storage site in Kilmarnock South, Scotland, represents a further important step forward on the journey to enhance Scotland’s renewable energy capacity. Zenobē now has a single financing platform which will support the delivery of sites at both Blackhillock and Kilmarnock, with capacity for further augmentation as appropriate. Zenobē’s ambitious sustainability plans reflect our own wider climate commitments, and we are delighted to have advised on this important transaction.” 

The financing was structured by NatWest as sole debt advisor. Pinsent Masons acted as borrower legal counsel with Gowling WLG as lender counsel. Consulting firms Baringa and Cornwall Insight acted as commercial advisors with DNV as technical advisor, Aon as insurance advisor and RSM as model auditor. 

Following a substantial injection of capital, including approximately £600 million from new investor KKR and c.£270 million from existing investor Infracapital, Zenobē is ready to expedite its role within battery storage and fleet electrification. Zenobē’s expansion transcends UK borders to incorporate the US, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond, with the intent to amplify the potential of renewable energy on a worldwide scale. 

ENDS 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

For all media enquiries, please contact the Zenobēpress office team: 

E: media@zenobe.com   
 

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. 

About NatWest 

NatWest serves customers in England and Wales, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers at all stages in their lives, from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement. Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support. 

CO2 savings: 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.