Octopus spreads reach with 149MW wind farms deal

The four assets include one of the UK’s largest onshore projects, once owned by HgCapital.

UK-based renewables firm Octopus Investments has bought four wind farms with a combined capacity of 149MW.

The portfolio, bought from developer Blue Energy, includes the 109MW Beinneun project in Scotland, which is among the largest of its kind in the UK. Beinneun was connected to the grid in February, two months ahead of schedule.

Octopus also inked deals for the 21MW Cour and 6.9MW Hillhead of Auquhirie projects in Scotland, as well as securing the 12.3MW Grange wind farm in the north of England. All four sites are operational and benefit from the UK’s Renewables Obligation subsidy scheme.

The company confirmed the investment had not been originated from its Renewable Energy Income Partnership fund, a £300 million ($388.7 million; €337.8 million) vehicle it closed two months ago and backed by the Barclays Pension Fund. It declined to disclose which fund had bought the portfolio or the value of the investment.

The Beinneun and Grange wind farms formed part of a set of six projects owned by RidgeWind, a developer Blue Energy bought from HgCapital for £250 million in 2013. RidgeWind was previously purchased via the €300 million Hg Renewable Power Partners fund in 2007.

In separate deals, Blue Energy paid more than £10 million for the Hillhead of Auquhirie site in 2012 and closed a £19m senior debt facility with National Australia Bank for Grange in 2014. Blue Energy will retain the debt associated with all four projects.

The transaction brings Octopus Investments’ renewables portfolio to £2.5 billion assets under management across the solar, wind, biomass and landfill gas sectors with a total capacity of about 1.6GW.