Field secures £77m to rapidly build the battery storage needed to stabilise and decarbonise the UK's grid

Posted 28 Jun 2022
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  • Field, the renewable energy infrastructure company, has closed an £77m investment round comprising £30m of equity funding and an initial £47m asset-backed debt facility.
  • The equity round is led by VC firm Plural, a new investment platform of founders backing founders, launched this week from four highly experienced founders - Taavet Hinrikus, Khaled Helioui and Ian Hogarth - with additional participation from Local Globe.
  • The debt facility is led by Triple Point Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Company (TEEC), a UK-based investment company focused on facilitating energy transition projects. Field and TEEC have agreed to work together on a further pipeline of over 400MWh of battery storage as Field expands.
  • In a first for the UK’s battery sector, the Triple Point debt facility will be subject to an ESG margin ratchet whereby Field will pay a reduced interest rate determined by the carbon emissions savings its battery assets generate.
  • The funds raised will be used to support Field in its build-out of battery storage in the UK, which is critical for energy security and decarbonisation, providing flexibility to the grid to help reduce volatility and energy bills for consumers.
  • The company plans to get 1.3GWh of battery storage operational across the UK by 2024, saving up to 8m tonnes of CO2e from entering the atmosphere over the next 20 years.

Field, the battery storage company, has raised £77m of investment to rapidly build out renewables infrastructure across the UK. Against the backdrop of soaring energy prices and growing uncertainty around energy security, this will provide much-needed progress towards creating a greener, more reliable grid.

The funding comprises £30m of equity led by Plural - a new early-stage investor created by experienced founders to back the next generation, launched today by Taavet Hinrikus, Sten Tamkivi, Ian Hogarth and Khaled Helioui - and a £47m debt facility from Triple Point Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Company (TEEC). There was additional participation from Local Globe, whose investment portfolio includes Wise, Zoopla, M-Kopa, InFarm and Citymapper.

The round marks a coming together of leading operators and founders - with a track record of founding fast-growing companies including Wise and Songkick - with established venture capital investors and leading energy infrastructure lenders. All three are working on innovative fundraising that better aligns profit and planet, amid a surge in climate tech funding, as investors increasingly seek real impact and more stable returns.

The terms of the debt funding will be unique in the UK battery sector, providing robust incentive for positive environmental impact via an ESG ratchet. This will see Field benefit from an interest rate reduction proportional to the carbon emissions savings generated by its portfolio of battery assets.

Field is exploring sharing best practice regarding the structure of the margin ratchet, to enable others in the industry to follow their lead. In addition, TEEC and Field have agreed on targets for end-of-life lithium-ion cell recycling and procurement best practice. Field was advised on the debt funding by Elgar Middleton, the renewable energy financial advisor.

Field will use the funding to rapidly build battery sites across the UK, which the company will then operate itself, trading energy to maximise efficiency and returns. The charging and discharging of energy will ultimately be optimised using Field’s proprietary platform. Since its 2021 launch, Field has already acquired a pipeline of 110MW of storage capacity, including acquired sites in Oldham (20MW), Gerrards Cross (20MW), Auchterawe (50MW) and Newport (20MW). By innovating the way renewables infrastructure is financed, built, operated and monetised, the company is aiming to get 1.3GWh of battery storage operational across the UK by 2024.

The investment will also go towards further growing Field’s team, whose blend of experience scaling businesses makes them uniquely positioned to drive Field forward rapidly. Current members have joined the company from Welsh Power, Vattenfall, National Grid and Orsted within the energy sector, Royal Mail, BT and Community Fibre in the infrastructure sector, and JP Morgan, Net-a-Porter, Glovo and Boston Consulting Group in tech and beyond. The company is also targeting international hires as it looks to improve energy security across Europe more broadly.

Amit Gudka, CEO and Founder of Field, says:

“We’re thrilled that Plural and TEEC are joining our mission to create a more secure and sustainable energy system. We all know that a huge energy transition needs to happen urgently and each of us is bringing something different to the table to help us make it a reality. With the Plural team’s wealth of experience founding and building hugely successful businesses, combined with TEEC’s specialist knowledge and commitment to the long-term financing of renewable assets, Field is now in the best possible position to lead the shake-up that the energy system so desperately needs.

“With this additional funding we can double down on the huge progress we’ve already made towards financing, building, operating and monetising the energy infrastructure that will solve intermittency and get us to net zero. Starting by building the assets on the sites we’ve already acquired, we’re now hitting the ground running towards our ambition to get 1.3GWh of battery storage connected to the grid in the next two years. It’s a massively exciting time for Field and for the sector and we’re looking forward to moving into our next stage.”

Taavet Hinrikus, Co-Founder of Plural, comments:

“Since the first time we met Amit and the Field team, we were impressed by their expertise and ambition to build the essential battery storage and infrastructure to enable a more reliable, flexible and green electricity grid. At Plural, we look to back category-defining founders who are using innovation to tackle important missions. We need more entrepreneurs with the vision of Amit to improve lives for the better, across Europe and the world, and we look forward to working with him on this journey.”

Jonathan Hick, Investment Director at TEEC, comments:

“Battery storage is a critical enabler of the transition to net zero, as both generation and demand become more unpredictable, and we are therefore delighted to support Field in our first deal in this sector. We chose to invest in Field not only due to the attractive opportunities in UK energy storage and the strength of its management team, but also Field’s commitment to market-leading sustainable practices, as it drives forward both the procurement and operation of the battery storage assets. We believe TEEC’s debt financing offer to energy storage is unique, provided over an approximate 18-year period and without an upfront requirement to put in place a contractual floor price with an offtaker.”