Sunny savings: Octopus Energy backs over 100 solar projects in Europe

Source: 10/27/2023, Location: Europe

Investments in Ireland & Portugal to create 250 MW of new solar power by 2027
Projects to help businesses reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower their bills
Move is part of Octopus’s rapid expansion across Europe
Octopus Energy’s generation arm announces investments in two renewable energy developers in Ireland and Portugal.

This will enable the companies to build over 100 new solar projects on rooftops and sites of businesses, creating 250 MW of solar power whilst reducing reliance on fossil fuels and boosting energy security.

In Ireland, Octopus has taken a majority stake in Verde Energy Group, who install energy efficiency solutions for a range of organisations, from local councils to large corporations.

Verde Energy will use the investment to develop over 50 solar projects across the country by 2027, totalling 100 MW of new solar energy.

It comes as Octopus continues to scale its activity in Ireland, with investments in one of the country’s largest solar farms as well as onshore and floating offshore wind developments.

Ireland has ambitious green targets, aiming for 80% of electricity to come from renewables by 2030, including a 8 GW solar target*.

In Portugal, Octopus set up a joint venture with local entrepreneurs to drive the development of solar energy. The new company called SparkWave Energy will build over 50 solar projects by 2027, amounting to 150 MW green energy.

Octopus first entered Portugal’s clean energy market last year with its investment in renewables developer FF New Energy Ventures operating in Iberia.

Portugal has 2.6 GW of solar capacity, the growth of solar outpaced other renewable sources last year - and it is expected to reach 21 GW by 2030**.

As part of these deals, Octopus will finance solar installations with zero upfront costs to the business customers who receive them. The businesses will benefit from solar power installed at their premises and sold back to them at an affordable rate through fixed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said: “Verde Energy and SparkWave are great partners to work with to scale this massive solar opportunity we’re seeing across many countries in Europe and beyond. Projects like these are making the Emerald Isle even greener and helping sunny Portugal capitalise on its amazing sunny weather.

“We’re looking forward to scaling these ventures to bring cheaper, cleaner energy harnessing the power of the sun to even more businesses.”

Paul Martin, CEO of Verde Energy Group, said: “Having built this business over many years to be a leading renewables partner in the region, we knew that to capitalise on the opportunity, and support our existing and new clients, having the right partner was critical.

“Octopus not only provides the funding, but most importantly complements our ethos of doing the right things in the right way. Our team are all so excited about the future and we look forward to supporting businesses in Ireland on their decarbonisation journey.”

Diego Hernando Ortega, co-founder of SparkWave Energy, said: “The solar energy sector is developing like never before in Portugal. Recent reforms have streamlined the market and combined with Portugal's outstanding solar resources, there is significant potential to develop numerous solar projects. We’re thrilled to have Octopus’ backing as we roll out solar for organisations across the country."

These latest two investments have been made by the Sky fund (ORI SCsp) which is managed by Octopus Energy Generation.

Octopus has been investing in developers since 2010 to create new solar energy. It also acquired Zestec Renewable Energy in 2022, a developer building over 100 solar projects for businesses in Britain.

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