Zenobe secures major investment from JERA and TEPCO Power Grid, Inc.
Zenobe has secured a major investment from Japanese power giants JERA and TEPCO Power Grid, Inc. The £25 million investment into Zenobe, with an option for a further £10 million, is one of the largest direct equity injections into a UK energy storage company.
The investment acknowledges Zenobe’s strong UK market position as one of the largest independent owners and operators of battery storage in the UK. With 73MW of operational assets, the company is providing intelligent flexible power solutions to utilities, EV operators, and industrial and commercial businesses.
Zenobe was the first energy storage company to develop the hardware and software capabilities to provide Fast Reserve services to the National Grid, delivering over 50MW of reserve power in less than 12 seconds.
In January 2019, the UK company became the first to help facilitate the rollout of electric buses across the country, providing flexible power solutions for charging in depots and significantly reducing operating costs for bus operators.
The new capital will help Zenobe expand its offering to commercial Electric Vehicle operators. This investment comes on top of £45.5 million of equity already invested into Zenobe in the last 18 months as well as over £30 million of non-recourse senior debt facilities secured from Santander and Generation IM.
Zenobe is developing a range of new service offerings to counter the increasingly hostile environment for battery storage in the UK, in particular the proposed charging reforms by the UK regulator Ofgem. This strategic partnership with two of the world’s largest energy companies will allow Zenobe to accelerate the rollout of energy storage in the UK and expand into new markets.
Nicholas Beatty, a co-founder of Zenobe, said: “We consider JERA and TEPCO PG to be two of the most significant strategic investors in the power sector. They bring unique commercial and technical capabilities to Zenobe as well as unrivalled access to a global supply chain. This investment reinforces Zenobe’s reputation as an innovator in the energy market. Together, we’ll help energy intensive businesses use power intelligently to reduce costs, improve resilience and minimise environmental impact.”
Satoshi Yajima, Senior Vice President of Overseas Business of JERA Co., Inc. said: “Zenobe has a strong track record of successful commercial innovation and application of battery storage, on the basis of its deep understanding of energy storage technologies and customer requirements, as well as leveraging important industry relationships. JERA and TEPCO PG are aligned with Zenobe’s commitment to profitable market leadership through a sustainable & strategic growth agenda. “We are delighted to be associated with the reputation and capabilities that Zenobe’s management team bring and therefore look forward to a fruitful strateg
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.