Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Green loan of the year (EMEA): Zenobē Energy

UK electric battery company Zenobē secured £234 million ($281.8 million) in loans in addition to £155 million in equity for two transmission-connected battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in Scotland.

CIBC, NatWest, Rabobank, Santander and Siemens Bank provided the loans to the 200MW and 300MW projects that will be connected to the national grid. Over their 15 years of operation, the two projects will save an estimated 13.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. In addition, by reducing the curtailment of wind farms, they are forecast to lower consumer bills by more than £1 billion over the same period.

Gayatri Desai"CIBC is committed to helping our clients achieve their sustainability ambitions," said Gayatri Desai, managing director and head of energy transition, corporate banking Europe at CIBC. "We are proud to partner with Zenobē Energy to deliver energy storage solutions that facilitate the provision of clean, secure and affordable power, accelerating the global transition to net-zero energy systems in Europe."

Connected to the grid, the projects seek to provide stability services to improve the reliability of the UK's increasingly renewable power system. They use transmission-connected batteries to provide short-circuit level and inertia, which Zenobē says is essential for the grid to function efficiently as fossil fuel plants phase out.

"Large and crucial battery storage system in an area increasing its share of renewable energy. The loan size is accordingly big, bridging well with the impact,"  commented one Sustainable Debt Awards judge. 

While another added the deal is "leading in a very significant sector for development".