Santander invests £28.5mn in Battery Energy Storage Solutions
The Spanish banking group, Santander, has announced its investment in the energy storage sector, being one of the first companies of its kind to do so in the UK.
The senior debt lender has financially supported the UK battery developer, Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS), with £28.5mn (US$40.19mn).
Santander are to support the British battery firm with it construction and operation of a grid-scale energy portfolio, with the target of reaching 100MW of capacity by the end of the year.
“We are delighted to have closed this landmark transaction with a new client in a new niche market segment: project finance for battery storage,” stated Howard Whitehead, Head of Infrastructure and Renewable Energy at Santander.
“We believe we are one of the first senior debt lenders to close a project finance transaction in this space, a fact which underscores Santander’s desire to be a leader in this fast-developing sector.”
BESS are a London based firm that was established in March 2017. Less than a year since it was formed, the company owns and operated 14MW of grid-scale battery storage projects.
The firm also has 49MW worth of grid-connected batteries that are due to come online by the end of January 2018, which will leave BESS with a total capacity of 63MW.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.