Statera Energy, a developer of electricity generation and storage capacity, has completed a debt facility re-financing with NatWest, part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The re-financing deal, which is one of the first for a battery storage installation in the UK, signals the maturity of energy storage as an asset class.
The 49.99MW lithium-ion battery storage system (BSS), located near Bishop’s Stortford, England, is the largest single battery storage facility built in the UK to date. It was commissioned in December 2017 under a two-year contract with National Grid to provide grid balancing services.
National Grid uses the Pelham BSS to help balance supply and demand. The BSS provides dynamic firm frequency response (FFR) services. It responds to second-by-second changes in the grid; storing power when generation exceeds demand and exporting power when there is more demand than generation.
In addition to the two-year FFR contract, the project also secured a 15-year Capacity Market contract commencing in 2020/21, committing the unit to providing grid capacity during periods of system stress.
“We are delighted to have successfully completed six months of operation and the facility re-financing with NatWest,” commented Tom Vernon, managing director, Statera Energy. “The deal is a first in the UK as it demonstrates the bankability of battery storage, and NatWest’s pragmatic and professional approach was essential in structuring a financing of this nature.
“We believe that battery storage will play a pivotal role in facilitating the UK’s transition to low carbon generation and thanks are due to all parties involved in delivering this landmark project. It has been an immense team effort where we have benefited from the full support and cooperation of UK Power Networks and National Grid.”
The project was completed with strong support from several experienced partners, including: Infrared Capital Partners; NatWest; SMA Sunbelt; National Grid, and UK Power Networks.
Steve Guy, director at NatWest, said: “We are delighted to have financed the project at Pelham and for our asset-based approach to play a key role in facilitating this milestone transaction. NatWest is committed to becoming a more sustainable bank and supporting the UK’s ambition to become a low carbon economy is an important part of this.”
Sotiris Georgioupoulos, head of smart grid development at UK Power Networks, which supplied the 132kV connection, said: “This is an important project showcasing the future of the energy system. Grid-scale storage potentially has a key role to play in the new energy system. UK Power Networks is delighted to be working with customers to facilitate major new connections in this emerging segment of the market.”
About Statera Energy
Founded in 2015, Statera Energy is a developer, owner and operator of flexible generation and storage capacity in the UK focusing on utility scale distribution and transmission connected assets. The company has a current operational portfolio of assets totalling 100MW and a pipeline of 950MW of consented, flexible generation and storage projects in the UK. Statera Energy intends to deliver its next two battery projects, each awarded 15-year Capacity Market contracts commencing in 2020/21, over the coming 12 months. The new projects will take the company’s operational battery storage portfolio to 150MW.