Fast expanding Octopus Energy Group is deepening its interest in Europe’s biggest power market, closing a deal to build a 35MWp wind farm near Frankfurt.
Ten Vestas turbines will be erected in coming weeks in the province of Hessen, as part of the ‘Gaishecke’ project, bought from a cohort of local developers.
By late next year the towers, known to German epicures and others as ‘Spargel’ or ‘asparagus’, will be pumping the first of their annual 100,000MWh, an output adequate for 40,000 homes.
After recent entries into Finland, Sweden and France, Octopus’ development team are looking to expand German opportunities, en route to a desired 1.2GW of capacity in the nation by 2030.
German expansion adds to the 3GW of European generation the firm already commands in seven states besides Britain.
Entering Europe’s biggest market in November 2020 at peak lockdown, the firm signed up to supply Germany’s Tesla Powerwall customers. It now claims 120,000 retail accounts in the country, and wants to reach one million as early as 2024.
Octopus intends replicating in Germany its ‘Fan Club’ innovation, pictured. Launched last year at two British sites, the proximity tariff offers neighbours in the same postcode as an onshore wind farm discounts of up to 50%.
Committing itself in February to 100% renewable energy by 2035 – with a staging post of 80% by 2030, – Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition of social democrats, greens and liberals is struggling with Germany’s dependence on Russia for 55% of its gas.
Wind accounted for 23% of the nation’s electricity last year, ahead of natural gas, but lagging the 28% still produced by carbon-polluting lignite – so-called ‘brown coal’ – and conventional coal.
Of the latest venture, Andrew Mack, head of Octopus Energy Germany said: “We’ve been blown away by the response to Octopus in the German retail energy market.
“This first onshore wind deal is a really significant milestone and it’s just the beginning, bringing green generation even closer to the consumer,” Mack said.
Mack’s boss Zoisa North-Bond commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled to expand into renewable generation in Germany as we rapidly scale green power across the continent.
The CEO of Octopus Energy Generation added; ”We’re huge fans of Germany’s wind market and can’t wait to build this wind farm – the first of many – to bring cheap green energy to people and help secure energy independence.”
In the UK, Octopus serves 3.1 million energy accounts, both under its own brand and white-labelling for retailers such as M&S Energy, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy.
Investments last year in Greg Jackson’s group by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and by a Canadian public pension fund valued the privately held group at around $5 billion.