Octopus to invest in UK solar-storage business

August 1, 2023

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) is to invest up to £2m to set up and fund a new development business focused on creating new ground-mounted solar PV and co-located battery storage assets in the UK.

ORIT will own 100% of the new company, which will benefit from exclusive development services from BLC Energy Limited (BLCe). BLCe is a newly formed specialist developer with experience in securing land for building new renewable energy projects.

ORIT will initially invest £700,000, with an expected total investment of up to £2 million to support the development costs of the business until the end of 2025. The new venture will target an initial pipeline of over 350MW of projects in development, with land rights and grid connection offers expected to be secured making the projects suitable for sale or further development.

ORIT will have the exclusive right to provide further funding to bring the initial pipeline to ready-to-build status between 2025 and 2029 by securing planning permissions and any other relevant consents, along with preferential rights to provide development funding to new pipeline identified by BLCe. ORIT will also have the option to build or sell all projects developed for the business by BLCe once ready-to-build.

Phil Austin, chairman of ORIT, said: “This latest investment into a new development platform for solar PV and battery storage assets is an exciting addition to ORIT’s portfolio. Investing in the early stages of creating new renewable energy projects brings huge growth opportunities for ORIT, both from value creation through successfully delivering projects, and from the exclusive opportunity to invest into the construction of the sites once they are ready to build.