U.K. Battery Startup Signs First Power Option Deal With PE Firm

U.K. battery startup Zenobe Energy Ltd. has signed the first battery option deal with private equity firm C.F. Partners U.K. LLP and clean technology trader Vest Energy.

Combining intermittent renewable energy and battery storage means being able to harness electricity when it’s abundant and keeping it for when it’s needed. One of the hurdles holding back building battery projects is being able to show steady forward revenue to allow the asset to be financed.

The so-called virtual battery option allows suppliers and generators to hedge the risk of a lack of renewable generation at times of peak demand. The benefit for the battery asset owner is a contracted source of revenue.

“Battery storage is key to ensuring we see a higher penetration of renewables assets operating efficiently on the grid,” said Aaron Lally, managing partner at London-based Vest Energy. An option such as the one bought by C.F. Partners and Vest Energy “can help to de-risk battery storage as an investment.”

Zenobe operates a battery storage project called Hill Farm, which is the largest site using Tesla Inc. batteries in the U.K. Its capacity is set to be overtaken by a project being built by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures BV and Harmony Energy Ltd.

Further details of the option contract were not disclosed.

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