Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Japanese power companies JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) and TEPCO Power Grid, Inc. (TEPCO PG) on an agreement to invest up to £25 million in the UK battery storage developer and operator, Zenobe Energy Ltd (Zenobe Energy). The investment is one of the largest direct investments from Japan into the UK battery storage sector and is a strategic investment by JERA and TEPCO PG to leverage their cumulative experience as power producers, distribution and transmission system operators.
Zenobe Energy is an energy storage firm with 73MW of operational assets at nine sites, the largest being the 29MW Aylesford facility. It is one of the largest independent owners and operators of battery storage within the UK and is currently focused on providing frequency balancing and reserve power for National Grid.
The investment in Zenobe Energy will 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 will also seek to improve operational efficiency of its domestic thermal power plants by installing battery storage in these sites. TEPCO PG will gain access to a wide range of new solutions including ancillary service, which it will be able to implement in Japan and abroad.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team advised on all aspects of legal due diligence, contract negotiation and the joint venture agreement, as well as assisting with aspects of the establishment of a new SPV through which the investment into Zenobe Energy will be made.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by George Gibson, the managing partner of the Tokyo office, with assistance from London partners, Stephen Rigby (energy M&A) and Andrew Hedges (climate change and clean energy), and Tokyo based senior associate Andrew Clarke (energy).
The wider team included associate Alex Wills (corporate M&A) who took a leading role on contract negotiation, and senior associate Suncica Miletic (energy) and associate Ania Soleimani (energy) who led on due diligence.
George Gibson, commented:
“We are delighted to have advised on this joint venture which illustrates the attraction of the UK power scene within the Japanese market. This is a critical pathfinder investment for both companies who look to expand their portfolio into alternative energy sources and solutions.”
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Notes for editors:
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