Integrated generator-investor-retailer of low-carbon renewable electricity Octopus Energy has squirted marine ink over a deal to source nearly a quarter of its needs from Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore windfarm.
Customers of Octopus, Britain’s fourth biggest retailer, could be receiving output from the first of the farm’s three phases as early as 2024, under a long-term deal signed today with Shell Energy Europe acting as broker.
Jointly owned by SSE Renewables and Equinor, and with a minority 20% stake held by Norwegian wind developer Vågrønn, Dogger Bank is now under construction in three equal 1.2GW stages in the North Sea, between 130 km and 190 km off Northumbria. SSE leads the development & construction, sinking the A phase’s first foundations only this year. Equinor, with Norway’s government holding a two-thirds equity stake, will manage operations.
As non-generating intermediary, Shell Energy Europe is contracted with Dogger Bank’s owners to buy 20% of its planned output.
The 2.4TWh which Shell contracts to sell each year to Octopus from all three fully operational phases equates to around 24% of the retailer’s current supply to its customers. The sum is equivalent in round terms to demand from 800,000 UK homes.
Each phase of Dogger Bank is to set to spin for at least 35 years. Every Haliade-X turbine supplied by General Electric for the three phases will have a diameter of more than 214 metres, comfortably longer than two football pitches.
Octopus Energy Group’s head of energy Matt Bunney declared: “If the energy crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need to move fast to an energy system based on cheap renewables – and Dogger Bank will help to get us there”.
“We already manage renewable energy assets worth over £5bn, and I’m delighted that our team managed to secure a long-term contract under Shell’s PPA on top of this, bringing 2.4TWh of green energy straight into our customers’ homes.”
Commercial terms were not disclosed.
Launched only six years ago, Octopus Energy Group’ global ambitions now embrace operations in 14 countries. Stake-building in 2021 by US and Canadian institutions including ex-Vice President Al Gore’s investment fund value the privately-held group close to the US $5 billion mark.
In Britain alone, it serves 3.4 million domestic customers, either directly under its Octopus Energy brand, or in white-labelled supply via M&S Energy, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy.
Enabling the back-office functions of today’s deal – as well as recent ones – is Kraken Technologies, the group’s core intellllectual asset, its proprietary, in-house platform for fulfilment and billing.
Through its advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain, underpinning operational efficiency.
Kraken’s technology has been licensed worldwide to support over 28 million customer accounts, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Australia’s Origin Energy.
Dogger Bank is the shallowest region of sea bed remaining from the Doggerland expanse of dry landscape – reconstructed map pictured, – which connected Britain to continental north-west Europe, before rising sea levels after 6,500 BCE flooded the land bridge.