Octopus Renewables takes 24% stake in Simply Blue in €15m deal

Cork-based Simply Blue is a marine project developer focused on floating wind initiatives

Simply Blue and Shell are behind the Emerald Floating Wind initiative in the Celtic Sea off Kinsale

Simply Blue and Shell are behind the Emerald Floating Wind initiative in the Celtic Sea off Kinsale

 

Octopus Renewables has further cemented its presence in the Irish energy sector by taking a 24 per cent stake in Simply Blue Group in a €15 million deal.

The move comes just two weeks after Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) acquired a portfolio from Statkraft in a transaction valued at up to €145 million.

Simply Blue is a marine project developer focused on floating wind initiatives across Ireland and Britain.

With its headquarters in Cork, it has a pipeline of more than 9GW of floating offshore wind projects to date. Current projects include the Emerald Floating Wind initiative in the Celtic Sea off Kinsale with Shell, and the Blue Gem Wind portfolio of floating wind projects in the Welsh waters of the Celtic Sea with TotalEnergies.

Simply Blue chief executive Sam Roch-Perks said the investment would allow it to accelerate international expansion outside of Ireland and Britain. The company is targeting a number of markets, including the US.

“There are huge opportunities for floating wind in Ireland and that is why the likes of Shell and Total have partnered with us on projects,” he said.

“With the Octopus investment we now have an opportunity to use the expertise that we’ve gained from working on such projects in other markets,” Mr Roch-Perks added.

Octopus Resources is one of the largest owners and managers of renewable energy assets in Europe. It manages more than £3.4 billion of assets on behalf of investors with 2.8GW of total portfolio capacity.

Its investment in Simply Blue was primarily carried out through ORIT, a London-listed group which last month raised £150 million through an oversubscribed share placing to support future investments. ORIT has invested €7.5 million in Simply Blue with other Octopus funds also backing the Irish company.

“Floating offshore 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,” said Chris Gaydon, investment director at Octopus Renewables.

Floating wind farms are considered to have a number of advantages over fixed platform wind farms, notably their access to stronger, more reliable winds further out from the coast and the fact that they are not visible from land, making planning objections less of an issue.