Renewables super-investor Octopus has squirted ink onto a deal yielding it direct entry for the first time into an offshore wind farm.
Putting the ‘zephyr’ into ‘cephalopod’, the multi-legged group’s generation arm announced it was paying operators Ørsted an undisclosed sum for 8% of the Danes’ 270 MW, 75-mast massive, covering 35 square kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast opposite Skegness.
Operating since 2013, the North Sea farm provides enough carbon-free electricity to meet the needs of up to a quarter of a million UK homes, or taking almost 200,000 ICE cars off the nation’s roads.
Offshore wind was picked out by the government as a key element in this month’s energy security strategy. The paper seeks to propel Britain’s current 11GW capacity to 50GW by 2030, and moots reforms directed at streamlining connection of offshore wind farms to the nation’s grid. Generation economists calculate the lifetime costs of clean power milled from offshore wind have plummeted by around two thirds since 2014.
Ramping up its interest in marine innovation, Octopus last year invested in Cork-based floating turbine implanter Simply Blue, taking a 24% stake to speed up the company’s expansion in the UK and abroad.
Wide skyed, and legless
The Irish marine developer has grown fivefold since late 2020, growing its worldwide pipeline of floating offshore projects to 9 GW, a third of that in UK and Irish waters. Earlier this month, Ørsted joined Simply Blue and Luxembourg-registered, London-based Subsea 7 in the 100MW Salamander floating development off Scotland’s east coast.
Octopus Generation’s boss Zoisa North-Bond was “extremely excited to make our first green waves in offshore wind energy.
“By backing a large onshore wind farm as well as developing floating offshore wind power, we’re tapping into this vital technology to accelerate our journey to energy independence,” she said.
”This is only the beginning”, North-Bond promised. “We’ve got big ambitions for offshore wind and are going to massively ramp up our activities in this area over the coming 12 months.”
Already among the foremost of Europe’s big renewables investors, Octopus Energy Group plans 18 gigawatts of clean generation projects by 2027.