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Zenobe Energy announces Europe’s biggest battery with 100MW battery project in Capenhurst

The project will be the world’s first battery to absorb reactive power directly from the grid, helping stabilise the system and enable further adoption of renewable power sources.

Zenobe Energy announces what it says is Europe’s biggest battery with its 100MW battery project in Capenhurst, Chester. The battery is due to be operational in April 2022 and will be the first in the world to absorb reactive power directly from a transmission network to help manage voltage levels and accelerate the UK’s uptake of renewable energy.

Setting a precedent for future projects globally, this is a huge step for the UK as it focuses on building back greener and drives towards its net-zero by 2050 pledge. As the UK continues to adopt renewable power generation, managing voltage levels and ensuring reactive power management is vital. Over the next 15 years, the project is forecast to remove 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 20,000 acres of mature forest (1,000,000 trees) or taking 216,044 diesel and petrol cars off the road.

The Capenhurst project was commissioned as a direct response to the National Grid’s pathfinder programme, seeking to solve the challenge of reactive energy management through the use of innovative technology.

The project is also the first of its kind to be approved under the new revised planning regime. Designed to help bring sustainable solutions onto the grid, the change allows batteries larger than 50MW to be granted planning permission locally rather than by the national approval body.

James Basden, Co-Founder and Director at Zenobe Energy, said:

“This is an incredibly exciting day for not just Zenobe, but the UK. The Capenhurst project is a great example of the pioneering solutions businesses like ours can bring to the table when industry innovation is encouraged by up-to-date legislation.

“As we move to a cleaner energy system, batteries like this one will play a vital role in stabilising the grid and ultimately enabling a greener, more sustainable, Britain. We will look to replicate this solution nationwide, working with government and industry to stabilise the UK energy system, push energy prices down and ensure an emission-free future”.

The project is the first deployment of the £150 million investment in Zenobe from Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc, which was announced last year as part of Zenobe’s aim to accelerate the UK’s transition to a green energy system. The battery will double Zenobe’s stationary battery capacity, maintaining the course to have 1000MW capacity by 2026.

Zenobe’s project will optimise the absorption of reactive power as well as operating the active power services concurrently. The design of the Capenhurst site has been specially crafted to ensure there is limited disruption to the local community. As part of the development, several habitat enhancement areas will also be built.

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