Amplifying the UK grid’s capabilities

Established in 2017, Zenobē is a major owner and operator of battery storage in the UK; and is on track to deliver 1.2GWh of battery power by 2026.

The company was the first battery owner to develop software to enter the Fast Response and Reactive Power markets and won a contract with National Energy System Operator (NESO) to provide reactive power on the transmission network utilising battery technology – an industry first.

Kilmarnock South 300MW/600MWh is announced as construction continues at Zenobē’s 200MW/400MWh Blackhillock site near Inverness. 


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 1GWh of capacity, these sites will provide stability services and essential grid-services which will contribute to the lowering of consumer bills and the UK’s acceleration towards net zero. 


The new projects are all contracted to provide stability services to NESO, to improve the reliability of the UK’s increasingly renewable power system. These are believed to be the first commercial contracts in the world to use transmission connected batteries to provide short-circuit level and inertia – both essential for the grid to function efficiently as fossil-fuel plants are phased out.

£46 million uplift funds increased energy capacity

Since 2020 NatWest has provided Zenobē with innovative receivables financing, and supported a first-of-its-kind funding platform to help service and finance new EV buses. In February 2023 when Zenobē were looking to raise a syndicated financing package to fund the construction of Blackhillock and Kilmarnock South, NatWest secured the mandate to act as sole financial advisor.


Now, one year on – with the Kilmarnock South BESS site about to begin construction – Zenobē approached NatWest again to discuss the upsizing of the existing capex facility to support an increase in project energy capacity. Having acceded two other lenders to the Zenobē facilities since original financial close, the NatWest advisory deal team were able to support them by structuring the upsizing of lenders' debt ticket sizes, including that of the NatWest lending team.


NatWest, who was also awarded the Facility Agent, Security Trustee and Account Bank roles for this transaction, now hold a total of £51.2 million in Zenobē’s financing packages, split across a 10-year Capex Facility, a 5-year Working Capital Facility, and a 10-year Debt Service Reserve Facility. 

Transaction aligns with NatWest’s purpose to assist the UK’s renewable energy

Nicholas Beatty, Co-founder and Director of Zenobē, commented: “We are very pleased to have a strong financial advisor and partner in NatWest at our side, and to have secured this uplift to our existing credit facilities, enabling us to deliver crucial grid-scale battery storage in Scotland.”


Joe Taylor, Head of Infrastructure, Project & Asset Finance at NatWest, said: “We are delighted to support Zenobē, a key player in the UK BESS market, with this uplift. This transaction supports a core pillar of NatWest’s purpose to assist the UK’s energy transition to net zero emissions by 2050. This is an example of how we support our customers and enable the increasing adoption of renewable energy generation through battery storage.” 

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