The quoted trust driving expansion for European renewables hyper-investor Octopus reached further into Lincolnshire’s biggest offshore wind farm this morning, at the same time making its debut in onshore German wind.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) announced its purchase of a further 7.75% interest in the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm, adding to an identically-sized stake it bought in May in the Ørsted-run farm off Skegness.

At the same time ORIT announced its 100% buy of a 36.4MW wind farm operating near Berlin.  Acquisition of the Leeskow plant in Brandenburg comes three months after the fund announced its German entry, committing to construction of a similar-sized turbine array near Frankfurt.

Built for £1 billion over a two year period, the first of Lincs’ 75 Siemens turbines began spinning in 2013, when in the joint ownership of Centrica, Ørsted and the German engineers.

Heading the coastal array’s attraction as an investment is its entitlement to two ROCs (Renewables Obligation Certificates) for every megawatt hour it generates, a benefit guaranteed for its first 20 years of operation.  The ROCs scheme closed to new entrants in 2017.

The combined 15.5% share in Lincs now makes up 16% of ORIT’s portfolio on a gross asset basis, the fund confirmed.

ORIT’s investment comes alongside an identically-sized indirect co-investment from Sky, another fund managed by its sister entity Octopus Energy Generation.  Following today’s transactions, funds managed by Macquarie Asset Management retain a 44% stake in Lincs.

Prices paid to Macquarie for purchase of the Lincs stakes were not disclosed.  Nor were they for Octopus’ entry into German operating onshore wind, provided by what well-disposed natives call “white asparagus spears”.

A similar floor price for wind generation, stable for twenty years and underpinned by German federal law, underpins Octopus’ interest in the recently opened Leeskow farm, pictured.

Eighty kilometres south east of Berlin, the seven-turbine, 34.6MW facility saw six of its spinners commissioned only last month, by its then owner, a native developer.  Leeskow thus benefits from price stability offered in the latest, 2021 iteration of the nation’s EEG laws on nurturing renewables sources.

For Octopus Energy Generation, the new name for Octopus Renewables, its investment director Chris Gaydon passed judgement:

“These acquisitions of operational assets further increase the diversification in ORIT’s portfolio including adding a new country.

“Both assets add to the proportion of fixed-price power revenues in the portfolio, with the Leeskow acquisition based on power prices well below the cap recently announced by the EU”, observed Gaydon.

Fun fact: In the German language, ‘Kraken” is one of several words for ‘octopus’.  Kraken Technologies is the British firm’s proprietary platform hosting transactions, billing and energy trading, and providing operational support under licence to clients in the UK and Australia.


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