For an undisclosed fee, Octopus Energy has bought into Ørsted’s Walney Extension wind farm, the eighth largest in the world.
The generation arm of the energy supplier has taken a 12.5 per cent stake in the Irish Sea project, which was built in 2018. The project has 87 turbines with a generation capacity of 660 megawatts (MW).
Octopus bought the stake in Walney Extension from AIP Management, the investment manager for Danish pension fund PKA and PFA.
The company’s £3bn offshore wind fund joint venture with Tokyo Gas, announced earlier this month, and the £1bn Sky fund (ORI SCsp) both provided funds for the deal.
This is the sixth deal in the offshore wind space Octopus has completed over the past 12 months. Other deals included two offshore wind farms in the Netherlands and one in Germany, and a 12.5 per cent stake in the giant Hornsea One wind farm with partner GLIL Infrastructure for £400m.
Octopus chief executive Zoisa North-Bond hailed the project as a vote of confidence in the UK’s “world-leading” offshore wind market, adding that the company will “continue to rapidly scale our offshore wind activity globally.”
The deal has come at an interesting time for the offshore wind industry in the UK.
Following a disastrous offshore wind auction in September, the UK government said last week it would boost subsidies for new projects by 66 per cent as higher construction costs have dented wind farm economics.
But many remain bullish on the outlook for the UK’s wind farm outlook.
“There will always be some projects coming towards the end of their life, but through re-powering, rebuilding or simply opting for new sites, there is a vast amount of untapped resource for UK projects,” Alex Nelson, Class Underwriter at Chaucer specialising in renewable energy projects, told City A.M.
Octopus Energy, meanwhile, may be thinking about its growing presence in the UK’s domestic energy supply market.
In September, the company announced the impending purchase of energy giant Shell’s Energy UK and Germany arms.