The developers of Britain’s first solar farm now generating directly into the nation’s transmission network have agreed financial terms to add a 49.9MW battery to the project.
Cero Generation and Enso Energy announced success yesterday in talks with Rabobank to fund storage supporting their 200 acre, 50MW Larks Green PV park in south Gloucestershire.
The parties confirmed Rabobank as the battery’s sole funder. The Dutch lenders signed off on the farm three years ago.
Canadian Solar will supply the battery and manage its EPC installation. Once the device is commissioned next year, EDF will manage storage optimisation, securing revenues by means of its trading platform.
Larks Green’s power began flowing directly into the nation’s high voltage transmission backbone earlier this month. Generation of 73,000 MWh per year is planned, meeting the needs of 17,000 homes.
The plant is Cero’s first battery project to reach financial close. In partnership with Enso, the company says it has over 30 stand-alone or co-located storage projects, amounting to over 2GW within its existing 5GW 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, Cero said.
Cero CEO Marta Martinez Queimadelos hailed the deal as a ‘national milestone’: “We’re delighted to announce our first financial close for one of our battery energy storage projects”, she said.
“Co-location enables solar power to go further, maximising the benefits which 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 on the UK’s first solar farm to connect directly to the transmission network. “Larks Green is not only an industry first but also a national milestone”.
Enso Energy director Andrew King indicated the company’s pipeline included more projects seeking direct connections to high voltage national transmission.
“At Enso we are all very proud to have been involved in this pioneering project from inception” said King, hailing “another major milestone reached on the road to the decarbonisation of UK energy”.
“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”, the Enso official added.