Octopus Energy makes first investment in UK offshore wind farm

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Two of the biggest names in green energy have come together today to provide the latest boost to the UK’s offshore wind industry, with Octopus Energy Generation announcing it has acquired a stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm operated by renewables giant Ørsted.

In what marks Octopus’ first investment in a large-scale offshore wind farm, the company has bought a roughly eight per cent stake for an undisclosed sum, providing it with a share of the 75 turbine project that first opened in 2013.

The company said the site generates enough energy to power 240,000 UK homes a year, delivering 300,000 tonnes of annual emissions savings.

The deal follows Octopus’ separate investment in floating offshore wind developer Simply Blue Group last year, which saw it take a 24 per cent stake in the company in support of rapid expansion plans that have seen its project pipeline grow to 9GW. In one recent project, Ørsted joined the Simply Blue Group and Subsea 7 joint venture on the proposed Salamander floating offshore wind development off the Scottish Coast.

“We’re extremely excited to make our first green waves in offshore wind energy – a key pillar of the UK’s renewable energy mix,” said Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation. “The UK has tremendous offshore wind resources. 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.

“We’re dipping our toe in the water with this investment – but this is only the beginning. We’ve got big ambitions and innovative ideas for offshore wind and are going to massively ramp up our activities in this area over the coming 12 months.”

The announcement comes on the same day as Crown Estate Scotland has published an update on its new Scotwind leasing round, detailing the potential economic benefits that should flow from the wave of 17 offshore wind farm projects that is proposed for the coming decade.

The analysis suggested the projects are expected to see Scotland receive more than £25bn of investment from the next generation of offshore wind farms, with the Scottish government set to secure almost £700m from seabed leases alone.

Companies involved in the leasing round have had to lay out minimum expectations for investment in Scotland, as well as more ambitious targets, with many of the developers announcing that they are set to approve multibillion pound supply chain investment programmes if their projects are approved.