Simply Blue, the Cork-based developer of floating offshore wind energy projects, has secured a further €25 million investment from UK company Octopus Energy. Other investors have raised a further €2.5m for the Irish group.
Companies controlled by Octopus will control about 38 percent of Simply Blue after the deal.
The investment is a major boost for Simply Blue and comes just weeks after Shell ended a partnership with the company when the energy giant exited Ireland’s offshore wind power market.
Simply Blue has a global pipeline of more than 10GW of floating offshore wind projects. Floating wind foundations are typically deployed in deep water where fixed foundations are not economically feasible.
Simply Blue’s projects include two major planned programs in Ireland. The Western Star field is expected to deliver a total of 1.35 GW of wind power in two phases. The development of the offshore wind farm, located at least 35 km from the Co Clare coast, in conjunction with a wave energy conversion plant some 4 km from the coast, will cost up to €2 billion.
Simply Blue’s Emerald project is constructing a 1GW floating offshore wind farm off Kinsale.
Shell was involved in both of these projects before ceasing its presence in the Irish offshore wind energy sector.
Simply Blue is also involved in e-fuels, wave energy and green aquaculture projects.
Octopus made its first investment in Simply Blue in August last year, raising €15m for a 24% stake in the Irish company.
The latest deal includes a funding commitment that Simply Blue can draw down over the next year.
Octopus’ investment was made on behalf of the Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust and the Sky fund.
Octopus manages over 3GW of renewable energy assets including wind and solar farms in 11 countries.
“The floating offshore wind sector will undoubtedly play a critical role in the clean energy system of the future,” said Chris Gaydon, Investment Director at Octopus Energy Generation.
He said that Simply Blue’s development pipeline of floating offshore wind power projects has “grown significantly” over the past year.
“With costs falling, technology improving and investments growing, this area is evolving,” he said.
Sam Roch-Perks, Simply Blue co-founder and managing director, said Octopus’ new investment shows its continued support for the Irish company and the renewable energy sector.
“With our strong pipeline of global projects, this investment will position us to expand our pipeline even further and advance a number of international projects outside of floating offshore wind,” he said.
Shell’s withdrawal from the Irish market earlier this year was the second time in less than a year that a major energy company ended its involvement in Ireland’s offshore wind energy sector, where planning delays have been heavily criticized.
Last November, Norwegian company Equinor ended its partnership with ESB as the pair advanced plans for a series of offshore wind projects off the coast of Ireland. Several large offshore wind energy projects are planned in Ireland.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/irish-energy-firm-simply-blue-bags-fresh-27m-investment-42153632.html Irish energy company Simply Blue secures a new €27 million investment