Japanese power giants JERA and TEPCO Power Grid have agreed to invest up to £25m in Zenobe Energy, a battery storage company based in the UK.
Zenobe Energy supplies, finances, owns and operates battery storage assets and is currently focused on providing frequency balancing and reserve power for National Grid in the UK.
Zenobe Energy owns and operates a portfolio of batteries with capacity of approximately 73MW. After begining operations in 2017, the company is currently one of the largest owners and operators of battery storage in the UK.
JERA overseas business senior vice president Satoshi Yajima 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.”
The company said that it is expanding into other new business areas like the charging of commercial electric vehicles, and supporting commercial and industrial companies and other utilities.
The investment in Zenobe Energy is expected to enable JERA to increase its knowledge of how batteries can respond to variances in supply and demand caused by the changing energy generation mix.
JERA said that it will seek to improve operational efficiency of its domestic thermal power plants by installing battery storage in these sites.
JERA, in a statement, said: “The British government has set out an energy policy to produce 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As a result, intermittent renewable energy is increasingly impacting on its power system. A similar policy shift toward renewable energy is also occurring in Japan.”
TEPCO’s investment in the Zenobe Energy, which is rapidly growing, gives it exposure in the UK, which is a country with strong battery storage market. It is expected to gain access to a wide range of new solutions including ancillary service, which is expected to be implemented in Japan and abroad.
The investment, which includes an option for a further £10m, is claimed to one of the largest direct equity injections into a UK energy storage company.