Octopus Energy launches £185 million renewable fund and invests in one of the UK’s ‘largest’ battery projects. Image: Exagen.

Octopus Energy has launched its Octopus Energy Development Partnership (OEDP), a £185 million (€220 million) renewable fund aiming to spearhead the green energy revolution in the UK, whilst making its first investment in Exagen.

The OEDP’s primary focus is investing in early stages of building new green energy, which could prove vital in helping reduce Europe’s dependence on gas imports and lowering energy bills in future.

Managed by Octopus Energy Generation, the fund will target solar, onshore wind and energy storage projects in the UK in addition to the rest of Europe. The firm also stated it can optimise assets through KrakenFlex, Octopus' flexibility and trading platform, which currently manages 1.3GW of green energy assets.

“This fund is helping to unlock huge amounts of new renewable energy across Europe, turbocharging the journey to greater energy security,” said Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation.

“The more new green power we can build, the faster we can reduce our dependence on gas imports and drive down energy bills for people in the UK and the rest of Europe.”

As a first major investment, Octopus Energy has allocated up to £35 million in renewable energy developer Exagen aiming to develop, own and operate over 5GW of generation and energy storage capacity over the next 10 years in addition to one of the UK’s “largest” battery storage sites.

The funding will enhance Exagen’s proprietary technology platform and development team whilst also funding new community-focused development opportunities, including three solar and battery storage projects across the Midlands and North East with an aggregate capacity of c.400MW.

Alongside this, what Exagen claims is one of the UK’s “largest” battery storage sites will be developed in the Midlands with a capacity of 500MW/1GWh once operational in 2027. Octopus’ funding will directly support its development.

With funding secured, Exagen will rapidly expand its renewable portfolio with a current development of over 2GW of utility scale generation and storage projects. This will be enhanced and developed in the coming years to reach 5GW before it plans to expand internationally and support the global energy transition.

 “All of us at Exagen are thrilled by this ground-breaking deal with Octopus, which will support us in our mission to build smarter, flexible renewable generation projects across the grid, enabling communities access to cleaner, cheaper energy,” said Jeremy Littman, founder and CEO of Exagen.

“I believe our commitment to our staff, our technology-focused approach to operations, and above all our passion for local communities and the environment has aligned us with the Octopus team and we’re all looking forward to delivering on our promise together.”

Increasing battery storage capacity is a vitally important aspect of the energy transition. With the UK focusing predominantly on intermittent solar and wind energy as part of its transition, sufficient energy storage will be needed to balance out the peaks and troughs in generation. 

However, to keep the rapid rollout of battery energy storage projects kicking on, stacking value and optimisation have been regarded as crucial components in maintaining attractive investment opportunities, according to a new GridBeyond and Thrive Renewables white paper.

It indicates an increase in battery supplier investment could overcrowd the market, leading to less interest. Because of this, optimisation and stacking value must be utilised to maintain investor attraction, the paper said.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) recently acquired a c.68MW ready-to-build solar PV project in Cambridgeshire from AGR Renewables further enhancing its green energy portfolio.