Cero Generation

Cero Generation and Enso Energy achieve financial close on 49.5MW battery to support pioneering UK solar PV plant

30 May 2023
News
  • Cero Generation (Cero) and Enso Energy (Enso) reach financial close on a 49.5MW/99MWh battery storage system in South Gloucestershire, UK  

  • Due to be operational in late 2024, the battery will be co-located with the 49.9MW Larks Green solar farm, which was energised earlier in May 

  • This will be the UK’s first co-located solar and battery storage project to feed electricity directly into the transmission network  

  • As its first battery energy storage system project that will connect to the transmission system to reach financial close, the project marks a significant milestone for Cero. The company, in partnership with Enso, has over 30 other stand-alone or co-located battery projects in its UK pipeline     

London, UK – Cero Generation (Cero), a leading European specialist in solar energy development, production, and storage, together with their UK development partner Enso Energy (Enso), have announced the financial close of a 49.5MW/99MWh battery storage system.   

The battery will be co-located with the Larks Green solar PV project in South Gloucestershire – a 49.9MW solar farm developed jointly by Cero and Enso, which came online earlier in May.  

This battery will help the UK energy system to better match green energy generation to demand, storing excess clean energy when there is an oversupply for use when there is a shortage or additional demand. It will maximise the site’s efficiency by connecting to the transmission network using the same connection point as the solar farm, thereby enabling a greater output of clean energy, helping to lower costs for consumers and providing a secure and reliable power source.   

The battery has been financed by Rabobank, who also financed the Larks Green solar project. The project has enabled the establishment of long-term partnerships with both Canadian Solar as the lead on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the battery, and EDF as the battery performance optimiser.   

Planned to be operational by late 2024, the project represents a meaningful step towards creating a secure, home-grown energy system for the UK. It supports the government’s recently revised energy security strategy – Powering Up Britain – which stated its ambition for a five-fold increase in the deployment of solar generation by 2035.  

As its first battery project to reach financial close, this announcement marks a significant milestone for Cero, and reinforces its leadership position in the market. Through its partnership with Enso, the company has over 30 stand-alone or co-located battery projects within its existing UK development pipeline. With another 5GW of early-stage battery or solar opportunities in early-stage development, batteries will play an even greater role in its longer-term strategy. Additionally, Cero believes that energy storage is a key enabler for the deployment of increased levels of renewable energy and is developing storage assets across its entire European portfolio.  

Cero appointed EDF to optimise the battery through its market leading trading platform providing access to a variety of revenue streams for this asset, including the balancing mechanism, wholesale optimisation and ancillary services, leveraging EDF’s industry-leading trading expertise and experience with transmission connected assets.    

The Larks Green solar PV project that the battery will be co-located with is the UK’s first transmission-connected solar farm, an achievement that allows clean energy to be transported over greater distances and opens a gateway for larger projects to connect to the grid. It has the capacity to power the equivalent of more than 17,300 homes with clean electricity and will displace 20,500 tons of CO2 each year compared to traditional energy production. It will also deliver a biodiversity net gain, achieved through the provision of a range of resources for local wildlife, including additional woodland planting, which will provide shelter and food for a range of protected species 

Marta Martinez Queimadelos, CEO of Cero Generation, says:  

“We’re delighted to announce our first financial close for one of our battery energy storage projects. Co-location enables solar power to go further, maximising the benefits renewables bring to the table and helping to accelerate the UK’s net zero transition. We’re particularly excited that this battery is co-located with our Larks Green solar farm, which was the first solar farm in the UK to connect directly to the transmission network, marking not only an industry first but also a national milestone.  

It’s been a pleasure to work alongside Enso, Canadian Solar, EDF and Rabobank, and I’m grateful to everyone involved in reaching this stage. Collaboration is crucial to the changes and progress we need to see across sectors to build a sustainable future.”  

Andrew King, Director of Enso Energy, says:  

“Another major milestone reached on the road to the decarbonisation of energy in the UK, and at Enso we are all very proud to have been involved in this pioneering project from inception. The co-location of solar power and battery will allow optimisation of the site as a source of renewable generation and storage, and also provides us with a template for our portfolio of transmission connected sites in the pipeline. Working with Cero and with Rabobank, as well as Canadian Solar and EDF, we have collectively been able to deliver this landmark project and make transmission connected solar and battery a reality in the UK.” 

Maartje Marchand, Director Project Finance at Rabobank, says:  

“Rabobank Project Finance congratulates Cero Generation on reaching financial close of this 49.5MW/99MWh battery energy storage system in Gloucestershire. Rabobank is pleased to act as sole lender on the battery storage project after successfully reaching financial close on the solar PV project in 2021. We’d like to thank Cero Generation for choosing Rabobank again, and we value the strong and pleasant cooperation which was key to bringing this battery project to a successful close.” 

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, says: 

 ”Canadian Solar is proud to support Cero Generation as they develop the storage projects needed to support Britain’s energy transition. By offering turnkey energy storage services, Canadian Solar continues to enable our customers’ growth.”  

Stuart Fenner, Commercial Director of WMS at EDF, says:  

“We are delighted to work with the Cero team as their trading and optimisation partner on this pioneering project. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Cero in the future as they build out their portfolio in the UK.“ 

ENDS 

Media enquiries contact: cero@standagency.com   

About Cero Generation  

Cero Generation is a leading specialist in solar energy development, production and storage, accelerating the delivery of a net-zero future across Europe.  

Powered by an experienced team that brings world-class industry, commercial, engineering and environmental expertise to its projects, Cero is active through every stage of the lifecycle, from planning and construction to operation. It works closely with local development partners, suppliers and stakeholders to deliver high-impact projects that positively benefit the environment and community.   

Cero is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG), operating on a stand-alone basis.   

About Enso Energy 

Enso Energy is one of the UK’s most experienced renewable energy developers, focused on developing renewable energy sites that drive the transition to net zero. 

Enso’s team of experts have a deep understanding of the energy industry and how to meet the requirements of a fast-moving sector. With a background in large-scale renewable energy, the team have delivered over 1.2GW of renewable energy and storage projects since 2019. 

Enso Energy believes that it is only with the support of the people most affected by renewable energy development that we can keep the lights on. That is why Enso’s expert team is honest, considerate and diligent, with an ambition to use the latest solar technology to make a positive impact on the country and the communities it works in. 

To find out more visit: https://www.ensoenergy.co.uk/ 

About Rabobank Project Finance 

Rabobank’s Project Finance team has a global presence and a strong focus on advising on, structuring, arranging and underwriting complex project finance transactions.  

The main focus of Rabobank Project Finance is on the renewable energy and infrastructure sectors, with a global mandate, and with Project Finance offices in The Netherlands, New York and Hong Kong.  

Rabobank Project Finance is a front runner in the renewable energy sector, financing one of the first offshore wind projects in 2006. Since 2016, Rabobank has financed several onshore wind and solar PV projects based on corporate PPA and merchant price risk structures. After financing its first battery storage project in 2018, Rabobank’s Project Finance team has now a portfolio of over 3GW of battery storage projects in the USA and Europe.   

About Canadian Solar 

Canadian Solar was founded in 2001 in Canada and is one of the world’s largest solar technology and renewable energy companies. It is a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules, provider of solar energy and battery storage solutions, and developer of utility-scale solar power and battery storage projects, with a geographically diversified pipeline in various stages of development.  

Over the past 22 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered around 88GW of premium-quality, solar photovoltaic modules to customers across the world. Likewise, since entering the project development business in 2010, Canadian Solar has developed, built and connected around 8.8GWp in over 20 countries across the world.  

Currently, the Company has approximately 574MWp of projects in operation, 6.7GWp of projects under construction or in backlog (late-stage), and an additional 18GWp of projects in its advanced and early-stage pipeline.  

Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar and renewable energy industry, having been publicly listed on the NASDAQ since 2006.  

For additional information about the Company, follow  Canadian Solar on  LinkedIn or visit: www.canadiansolar.com   

About EDF 

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas. 

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms

EDF is leading the UK’s nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes. 

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland. 

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland. 

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 11,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. 

EDF is committed to the long-term future of energy storage systems and the critical role they play in the energy transition. Since 2017, EDF has traded flexible assets via our proprietary flexibility platform, Powershift, with 1GW of storage in our portfolio. 

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