Octopus Energy to Invest $2 Billion in US Clean Power

The UK government has committed to provide up to £4.5bn to fund the takeover of the collapsed energy company Bulb by its rival Octopus.

Octopus Energy, the UK’s largest electricity supplier, has announced plans to invest $2 billion in renewable energy projects across the United States by the end of the decade.

The company has initiated its expansion by acquiring two solar farms from Vesper Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, located in Pennsylvania and Ohio. These projects boast a combined capacity of 100 megawatts, sufficient to power 20,000 homes with clean energy.

This move marks Octopus Energy’s significant entry into the American clean power market. The company initially entered the US market in 2020 by launching a retail energy business in Texas. Since then, it has broadened its scope to include an electric vehicle leasing arm and has expanded its technology platform, Kraken, across North America. Through a partnership with Tenaska in Texas, Kraken optimises battery storage and is also licensed to Saint John Energy, a Canadian municipal utility.

Globally, Octopus Energy’s solar portfolio has now reached 2 gigawatts of capacity. The company also manages an additional 1.7 gigawatts of green energy projects, including onshore and offshore wind farms in Europe and Australia, enough to power 2.4 million households. Further projects are planned for Asia and Africa.

Greg Jackson, the 52-year-old founder of Octopus Energy, described the investment as “a major milestone” for the company, aiming to “supercharge” its global renewables initiatives. “Green energy isn’t just the future; it’s the most cost-effective energy source here and now. The more we build, the faster we can power up a cheaper, greener energy system for everyone,” said Jackson.

Octopus Energy is supported by investors such as Generation Investment Management, chaired by former US Vice President Al Gore, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The company was valued at £7.1 billion during its latest investment round.

Founded by Jackson in 2016, Octopus Energy has rapidly expanded, now supplying energy to 6.8 million households in the UK, making it the second-largest domestic energy supplier after British Gas. The company’s customer base grew significantly following the acquisition of Shell’s retail energy business and the bailout of Bulb, the largest energy supplier to collapse during the energy crisis.

Octopus Energy operates in 18 countries outside the UK, including Germany, the United States, and Australia. The company recently swung to profitability, reporting a pre-tax profit of £283 million in the 12 months leading up to April last year, compared with a pre-tax loss of £166 million in the previous period. This turnaround was largely attributed to a decline in wholesale energy costs.