Renewables mega-investor Octopus Energy Group is teaming up to pay a combined £400 million for a one-eighth stake in Hornsea One, the world’s biggest operating wind farm, spinning for more than two years in the North Sea.
To secure today’s purchase, the energy company is deepening its relationship with Nest, which invests pension contributions for a claimed one in three of all British workers.
The pair have formed a joint venture holding company to secure the 12.5% stake from Hornsea One’s controlling shareholder Global Infrastructure Partners.
The pair are pledging £200 million between them. Matching that sum is their third and new partner, GLIL Infrastructure, manager of £3.6 billion in assets.
GLIL’s roots are in public sector pensions serving local government workers in Manchester, London, Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
The 1.2 GW Hornsea One parc has been generating since 2019 off the Yorkshire coast, providing at its peak, carbon-light electricity for over a million homes. Each of its 174 turbines is 190 metres tall, higher than London’s Gherkin building. Ørsted operates the project.
Octopus and Nest have worked together since last year, when Nest appointed the energy technology business to help it invest billions in green energy on behalf of its 11 million pension savers.
Today’s deal is Octopus’ third in offshore wind since entering the sector earlier this year. Through its offshoot Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust, it has bought stakes in Hornsea One’s neighbour, the 270 MW Lincs Offshore Wind Farm, in Borssele V Offshore in Dutch waters, and in floating offshore wind developer Simply Blue.
Further offshore investments are on its search list, Octopus confirmed this morning.
“The UK is already a world leader in offshore wind but there is still so much more we can do“, Zoisa North-Bond, Octopus CEO in energy generation, commented.
“Harnessing the UK’s strong wind resources out at sea will help provide energy security and bring down energy bills. We’ve already made a splash in offshore wind after only entering this renewable technology earlier this year, and we have lots more coming up.”
Alex Brierley, co-head of the generator’s fund management team, added: “This latest deal is testament to the growing demand we’re seeing from institutional investors to invest in renewable energy.
“It’s brilliant to be expanding our relationship with Nest and starting a new one with GLIL to help pension savers’ money make a truly positive impact on people and the planet, Brierley observed.
“Renewable energy sources have huge potential for long-term investors like Nest”, the provider’s head of private markets Stephen O’Neill commented.
“Its desirability should only increase in the coming years “, O’Neill went on. “As the UK accelerates towards Net Zero, we’re confident Hornsea One will deliver inflation beating returns and grow the money our members have invested. I’d like to thank Octopus Energy Generation and GLIL for helping us access this deal”.