UK battery storage and flexible generation developer-operator Statera Energy has secured a £300 million (US$375 million) financing package for its Thurrock project, its first news since being bought by investor EQT.
The Thurrock project combines a 300MW/600MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) and a 270MW ‘flexible generation plant’, i.e. a gas-fired power plant. The latter won a long-term contract in the UK’s capacity market auction held earlier this year.
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The first £144 million of the financing will go towards the BESS system while the rest will fund the gas plant. Statera has planning consent for 900MW of energy storage and generation at the site, pictured above, and the overall project is classed as an NSIP (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project).
Statera has not revealed when it expects any phase of the project to go online but implied the BESS will be the first to start construction.
Lloyds Bank was the sole structuring bank for the debt facilities with participation from NatWest, Santander, and Siemens Financial Services through Siemens Bank.
It is Statera’s first major announcement since being acquired by global investor EQT earlier this month.
Financing costs have risen substantially in the past year as interest rates have gone up, with the effects felt strongly in the highly capital-intensive renewable energy development sector. Being part of a larger financial institution like EQT is likely to make securing debt packages for BESS easier, as will combining the package with a long-term revenue guarantee like the capacity market.
Statera’s CEO and founder, Tom Vernon said: “Lloyds’ commitment to Statera, through one of the largest battery storage debt financing deals in the UK to date, is testament to the quality of our projects.”
The period of increasing financing costs, as well as falling revenues in the UK, has seen several big BESS developer-operators change hands, including Banks Renewables, Zenobē and Gresham House.
Five years ago Statera secured a refinancing for a 50MW BESS in the UK which participating bank Natwest called a “milestone transaction” and CEO Tom Vernon said demonstrated the bankability of the asset class.
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