Octopus Renewables snaps up stake in Cork’s Simply Blue for €15m

10 Aug 2021

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The investment will help Simply Blue to accelerate its expansion in Ireland, the UK and internationally.

Cork-based marine project developer Simply Blue Energy has given a 24pc stake to Octopus Renewables in a €15m deal that will allow the company to expand operations.

Simply Blue Energy, which creates floating wind, wave energy and low-impact aquaculture infrastructure, opened a new headquarters in Blackrock, Co Cork, last year.

It has developed a pipeline of more than 9GW of floating offshore wind projects to date, primarily in the waters of the UK and Ireland. It is currently working on the Emerald Floating Wind initiative off the coast of Cork with Shell, among other projects.

Sam Roch-Perks, CEO of Simply Blue, said the investment from Octopus would help accelerate and support expansion beyond Ireland and the UK.

“Octopus is an established and significant player in renewables and this investment gives them an exciting entry into the world of floating offshore wind,” he added.

Octopus Renewables, part of the UK’s Octopus Group, is a renewable energy investor.

Its investment in Simply Blue was carried out through the Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT). London-listed ORIT revealed in an update this week that it invested €7.5m in Simply Blue, alongside a co-investment with another fund managed by Octopus Renewables Limited.

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

“We believe Simply Blue is very well positioned to capture this growth.”

Phil Austin, chair of ORIT, added that this is the group’s first investment in the offshore floating wind sector and will “further diversify” its business.

ORIT has already been expanding in the Irish renewables market, however, recently acquiring a portfolio solar energy sites in Ireland from Norwegian state-owned renewable energy giant Statkraft for up to €145m.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic