Global clean energy enterprise TagEnergy has secured a debt package to finance its next UK-based battery energy storage system (BESS) project under an innovative financing model.
Three year old Tag claims 1GW of its total of just under 12GW of solar, wind and battery storage assets are either already operating or under construction. Besides the UK, its projects span Portugal, Spain, France and Australia.
Its Lakeside battery and storage asset, the subject of the latest financing deal, is located in Selby, north Yorkshire, conveniently close to the Drax power station, pictured. The device is rated at 100MW/200MWh.
Construction of the project began two months ago, with the associated energy park due to go fully live by mid-2024.
TagEnergy bought the storage project outright from developers RES in December 2021. At that time, it was TagEnergy’s fifth investment in Britain.
In its coal-burning years, Drax was notorious as Britain’s biggest single carbon-emitting plant. Ceasing fossil fuel combustion entirely this April after 15 years of transition, four of Drax’s six furnaces now rank together as Britain’s biggest single generator of renewable energy, using its rated 2.6 MW capacity to pump out 14 TWhs every year by burning US-sourced wood pellets.
That controversial energy source prompted Professor Sir John Beddington, the government’s former chief scientific advisor, to call in April on the Drax Group to retract its repeated claims that biomass pellets are ‘carbon-neutral’.
Lenders Santander, Rabobank, and Triple Point compiled up to £70m of non-recourse debt on a fully merchant basis to get the Lakeside battery up and humming. Their deal does not address Capacity Market revenues.
The deal gives the lending trio leeway to incorporate further assets into its funding structure.
As Lakeside’s funding arrangements are nailed down, TagEnergy has named Tesla, Habitat Energy and the site’s initial developer RES as its project partners.
As engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, Tesla will provide the device’s Megapack 2XL lithium-ion batteries. Habitat Energy will optimise the installation, and manage its routes to market. RES has been engaged to manage the asset.
TagEnergy CEO Franck Woitiez greeted the deal: “Securing a single non-recourse debt package without a revenue floor is testament to the value our innovative approach to financing offers the market. We’re excited to now move to the next stage of the project to accelerate the energy transition.”
Mark Cumbo, Santander UK’s director of specialised and project finance said: “Santander UK is delighted to have once again supported TagEnergy with funding for the construction and operation of a new BESS asset and supporting the growth of their activities in the UK.
“The investment in BESS assets in the UK, like Lakeside, are a key enabler for the increasing penetration of renewable generation assets and the wider Net Zero transition.”
The debt was arranged by IDCM as financial advisor, with TLT serving as borrower legal advisor, Burges Salmon as lender legal advisor, Aurora Energy Research as energy analytics provider, Everoze as technical advisor, WTW as insurance advisor, Ester as hedge advisor and RSM as the model auditor.