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Octopus Renewables acquires two UK biomass plants

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Octopus Renewables, the specialist clean energy investor arm of Octopus Group, has acquired two operational UK biomass power plants.

The plants, with a combined capacity of 85.7 MW, were acquired from a joint venture by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), in one of the largest deals of its kind in the UK.

The two plants, located in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, and Snetterton, East Anglia, have been acquired with investment provided by funds managed by Octopus, one of which includes a recently announced fund cornerstoned by UK workplace pension provider, Nest.

Both facilities at Brigg (40.8 MW) and Snetterton (44.9 MW) are fuelled by a mix of locally sourced biomass feedstocks. Octopus will manage both sites, adding to the five biomass plants it currently manages in the UK.

“We’re delighted to grow our portfolio of biomass power with these two plants, marking one of the largest deals of its kind in the UK,” said Peter Dias, investment director at Octopus Renewables.

“As one of the UK’s leading specialist investors in energy generation, we view biomass as playing a crucial role in diversifying the UK’s energy mix and supporting the UK farming industry through the sourcing of feedstock fuels.

“The acquisition marks a significant step for our fund that has Nest as a cornerstone investor. The fund benefits from a healthy pipeline that will help target strong and stable returns. We see institutions and pension funds as playing a vital role in hastening the energy transition and helping to unleash pent-up capital to fight climate change.”

Stephen O’Neill, head of private markets at Nest, commented: “We’re delighted to have our account with Octopus Renewables up and running, investing our members’ money into something that should provide steady returns for years to come.

“Biomass is an exciting technology and energy crops, such as Miscanthus, could play a significant role in the UK hitting its carbon emission targets. We want to continue investing in the energy of the future and looking ahead for what opportunities will be presented in the drive to the low-carbon economy.”