Clean energy investment house Octopus Renewables has taken a 24% stake in Irish developer Simply Blue to spur ahead plans for a 9GW pipeline of floating wind projects off the UK and in wider international waters. Simply Blue was advised on the investment deal with Octopus – which has diverse portfolio of renewable energy assets totalling over 2.8GW – by Fieldfisher and financial advisers Green Giraffe.
The €15m ($17.6m) capital injection being made via the Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust is seen as an “enabler” to Simply Blue’s lead-off projects which include the Emerald floating wind array being developed with Shell off Ireland, the Blue Gem portfolio in progress with TotalEnergies off Wales, and the 200MW Salamander off Scotland. Fieldfisher had previously been involved in advising Simply Blue on each of those deals.
“The investment by Octopus recognises Simply Blue as a leading blue economy developer. We took the decision a year ago to put in place the team to allow to carry through a plan that will come to light in the coming months, but this [investment by Octopus] is the enabler,” said Simply Blue founder Sam Roch-Perks.
“This is the first time we have brought in corporate finance – until now we have financed ourselves through family and friends. This money will allow us to accelerate development of the teams in the different jurisdictions to bring them forward to a fully investable proposition, to a stage where they will really have some maturity.”
Significantly this investment will support and accelerate Simply Blue’s international expansion outside of the UK and Ireland, utilizing the unique experience and skills gained from our pioneering developments in both the UK and Ireland.
Octopus Renewables investment director Chris Gaydon said: “Floating wind is a particularly exciting renewable energy sector which is expected to undergo rapid growth over the years to come and is a key part of government decarbonisation plans in a number of European countries. We believe Simply Blue is very well positioned to capture this growth.”
Earlier this month, Simply Blue, which is headquartered in Ireland, said it will work alongside Subsea 7 to establish whether the “Dolphyn” green hydrogen project could be incorporated into its Salamander scheme off Peterhead.
"We are delighted to have closed yet another significant deal for Simply Blue as they continue to innovate in the area of marine development. Floating wind is an exciting and rapidly expanding area within renewables and we look forward to partnering with Simply Blue on further projects".
Feilim was supported on the transaction by Renewable Energy colleagues Jamie Woodcock and Teodora Puiu, with input from the wider Fieldfisher team - Barry Walsh (Employment), Julie Austin (Privacy) and Breen Purcell (Real Estate).
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