Octopus Energy Generation and wind turbine manufacturer EWT are planning to repower up to 1,000 existing onshore wind turbines in the UK in a bid to help boost energy security.

The older wind turbines are located across England, Scotland and Wales, and have already been powering communities for years. In total, the UK has approximately 9,000 onshore wind turbines. Octopus claims that by increasing the green generation capacity of around a tenth of these, ‘there is the potential to power hundreds of thousands more homes with new cheap, green energy, and drive down energy bills for more people’.

The wind turbines will be upgraded to more powerful and tech-enabled ones, ranging from 250 kW to 1 MW. Work is due to complete by 2030.

The partners are also planning to work together on similar projects in other European countries in the future, exploring a range of ways to increase the green power generated by existing onshore wind turbines – from fitting larger turbine blades, to replacing whole wind turbines and large wind farms.

Octopus has been working with EWT on two of its Fan Club turbines in Caerphilly, Wales and Market Weighton, Yorkshire. The companies are looking at whether it might be possible for some of the re-energised wind turbines to be brought onto a Fan Club-style model, which offers landowners the opportunity to secure additional revenue streams through rent or a share of a wind project’s income, whilst giving back to their local community through bills discounted by up to 50%.

Octopus Energy Generation manages 3 GW of renewable energy assets across Europe. It is stepping up its generation capabilities and is planning to create 18 GW of green energy generation projects across the world by 2027.

Hornsea investment
In other news, Octopus Energy and Nest have formed a joint venture with GLIL to invest £400mn in Hornsea One, the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm.

Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team has invested £200mn in Hornsea One on behalf of Nest, one of the UK’s largest pension schemes representing a third of the UK workforce. Through a joint venture with GLIL Infrastructure, who is also investing £200mn, together they’ve acquired a 12.5% stake from Global Infrastructure Partners for a total of £400mn. GLIL is a £3.6bn fund investing in infrastructure on behalf of pension funds.

Located off the Yorkshire coast, the 1.2 GW Hornsea One wind farm comprises 174 wind turbines, each 190 metres tall. It is operated by Ørsted and has been operational since 2020.

The deal is Octopus’ third in the offshore wind sector, with more in the pipeline. It follows investments in the Lincs offshore wind farm in England on behalf of Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust (ORIT) and the Borssele V offshore wind farm in the Netherlands. It has also taken a stake in floating offshore wind developer Simply Blue.

Extracted from Energy Institute website - read more here

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