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European solar investor Octopus Renewables is expanding its portfolio of biomass energy in the UK to diversify its energy mix, ensure the security of its supply and play a key role in accelerating the energy transition.

In a deal reached with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), Octopus Renewables has acquired two biomass energy plants in the UK.

The two energy generation plants are located in Brigg (40.8MW) in North Lincolnshire and Snetterton (44.9MW) in East Anglia and have a total capacity of 85.7MW.

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The deal increases Octopus Renewables’ portfolio of biomass energy plants in the UK to seven.

Rothschild & Co acted as the financial advisor and Herbert Smith Freehills as the legal advisor to Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners on the sale of the assets, while Burgess Salmon was the legal advisor for Octopus on the deal, and EY provided tax structuring advice.

Peter Dias, investment director at Octopus Renewables, said: “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. 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 added: “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.”

Nikolaj Holmer Nissen, CEO at BWSC added: “BWSC is pleased with the divestment of the Brigg and Snetterton plants after our active involvement in both the development and successful construction of the two plants. We look very much forward to continue the good cooperation with Octopus Renewables as the new owner and BWSC as the Operation & Maintenance contractor”.