Octopus Energy Group’s continental European adventure turned south east today, as the renewables mega-developer returned to Italy, unveiling a collaboration deal with Nexta Capital, a Milanese green electricity investor.
A new joint venture initiated by the British firm’s all-purpose Development Partnership (OEDP) sees Greg Jackson’s foundation partnering with Fabrizio Caputo’s seven year old finance and development house.
Together the duo aim to create by 2025 1.1GW of new onshore wind, solar farms and power storage projects located in Italy’s south, enough to potentially power 1.2 million homes. That’s the same, the partners claim, as offsetting carbon emissions from half a million petrol cars, or planting 4.6 million trees.
Octopus launched the OEDP in August with Euro 200 million of funds. It will support Nexta as the in-country partners secure land, grid connections, planning permission and local community engagement, all in prepping green projects for shovel-readiness. Nexta claims a leading position in developing Italian renewable projects, and employs 30 people. Its non-Italian offices include addresses in Athens, Madrid & Lisbon.
This morning’s announcement did not specify any sums of capital committed.
Privately held Octopus was in December valued at around $ 5 billion, following $600 million of stakebuilding by US ex-vice president Al Gore’s Generation IM fund, and $300 million from pension managers for Canada’s public sector workers.
Rome’s new right-of-centre coalition is continuing the nation’s drive towards renewables backed earlier by Mario Draghi’s departing government to unblock bottlenecks in permitting renewable projects and speed up green energy deployment in Italy.
Putin’s 200-day violation of Ukraine underlies Italy’s increasing demand for carbon-free solar & wind power.
As part of EU moves coordinated by Brussels since the spring to press harder for home-grown renewables & reduce varying national reliances on Russian gas.
The ‘beautiful country’ – il bel paese – relies on ugly Russia for around 25% of its imported gas and the government has made clear its plans to reduce reliance further by building more renewables.
In June Octopus launched its in-country brand Octopus Italy, offering consumers 100% green tariffs. The launch followed its purchase last November of SATO Luce e Gas.
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, observed: “Building more new green energy will help reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and drive down energy bills. Onshore wind and solar are some of the cheapest forms of energy – and Italy can generate it right on their soil.
“To avoid a repeat of the energy crisis, it’s essential we turbocharge the creation of new renewable energy and shift to a low carbon energy system.”
Fabrizio Caputo, co-founder and managing director at Nexta, said: “The partnership with Octopus represents a further step towards the consolidation of our growth objectives within the renewable energy industry. We aim to play a leading role with Octopus in the energy transition process.”
Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest renewables investors, managing energy assets worth £4.4bn. It pioneered investing in unsubsidised renewable energy projects for the first time in Europe.
Today is the British firm’s return to the peninsula. From 2017 it invested to build 173 MWp of solar farms around Rome and in Sardinia, but sold up in February 2021.