Work starts on 300MW/600MWh battery energy storage in Blackhillock, Scotland

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Construction work has begun on a 300MW/600MWh battery energy storage in Blackhillock, Scotland. Developed by Zenobē Energy, the facility will be located midway between the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness.

The company said the battery energy storage in Blackhillock will be the first in the world to deliver stability services using a transmission-connected battery.  This is a significant step towards the company’s goal of bringing 1 GW of battery energy storage to Scotland.

Wärtsilä, H&MV, SMA Solar Technology AG, and GE Grid Solutions are the projects primary suppliers.

The battery asset’s capacity, when fully operational, will be 300MW/600MWh. The first phase will see 200MW created and is planned to go live in the summer of 2024. The second phase will develop an extra 100MW and will go live in 2026.

The project will facilitate offshore wind farms at Viking and Beatrice. Thus, it will increase the use of renewable energy in the area.

US$284.8 million financing announcement that preceded the battery energy storage in Blackhillock

The UK energy storage and e-mobility expert recently obtained a £235 million (US$284.8 million) long-term debt facility from five banks, which precedes the announcement.

According to Zenobe, the new debt financing is provided by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Rabobank, Santander UK, Siemens Financial Services through Siemens Bank, and NatWest. It is also the largest project finance facility for battery storage projects in Europe.

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Along with Blackhillock, the money will be used towards the company’s Kilmarnock South project, with a capacity of 200MW/400MWh. Kilmarnock South could also be increased by 100MW/200MWh, similar to Blackhillock.

Additionally, the agreement contains a £400 million accordion facility. Thus, it will be used to finance debt expansions at each site and upcoming projects. This will enable Zenobē to scale up its entire battery storage portfolio in Scotland to over 1GW/2GWh by 2026.

Zenobē recently announced the beginning of delivering reactive power services to the grid using its 100MW/107MWh Capenhurst battery energy storage system. According to Zenob, the Capenhurst BESS in Chester is the biggest battery project directly connected to the transmission grid in Europe.