Power Up: UK battery storage and electric vehicle charging projects in line for £100m boost

Partnership between the UK Infrastructure Bank and Octopus Investments will provide funding to projects aligned with the UK's net zero target

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Credit: iStock
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Credit: iStock

The roll out of battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging networks in the UK is in line for a £100m investment boost, thanks to a new partnership between the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) and Octopus Investments.

Under the terms of the partnership, which was announced today, the Octopus Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (OSIF) will provide growth capital to companies looking support sustainable infrastructure projects vital to helping the UK meet its net zero targets, while the UKIB will be the cornerstone investor in a new fund to provide scale-up capital.

The Bank is set to invest up to £100m on a match-funding basis, unlocking between £100m and £300m of private capital in the new fund.

"The UK Infrastructure Bank was set up to solve the most important problems we face today," said John Flint, chief executive of the UK Infrastructure Bank. "This investment, which is fully aligned with our mandate, could unlock over £100m of private funding into new green industries and help people across the UK to benefit from innovation in their local area."

Octopus Investments said the funding agreement represents an "important starting gun" in the race to attract investors looking to align their capital with the UK's net zero goals. It added that the move was "supporting job creation, powering economic growth, and bringing the next generation of infrastructure to every corner of the country, while generating the necessary financial returns".

Robert Skinner, head of alternative investments at Octopus Investments, said: "The scale of the UK's net zero ambitions will require billions of pounds of investment. Some of that money needs to be channelled towards scaling up the emerging infrastructure technologies, companies and assets across critical sectors, such as digital infrastructure like small cells and green data centres, battery storage, electric vehicle charging and waste management.

"These are the sectors that will form the foundations of our sustainable economy and energy system in the years to come."

The government-backed Leeds-based UK Infrastructure Bank has now announced six investment agreements since it launched in June 2021. Investments include support for the roll out of digital infrastructure in Northern Ireland through Fibrus, and England through Gigaclear, as well as support for a subsidy-free solar power production in England and Wales through its £250m deal with NextEnergy. The UKIB has also supported the UK wind sector, through a loan to Tees Valley Combined Authority via its lending function and financed green bus routes with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Last month, Octopus Energy announced its first investment in the UK offshore wind sector through a multi-million pound deal with developer Ørsted. The firm acquired an eight per cent stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm, operated by renewables giant Ørsted, in what marks Octopus' first investment in a large-scale offshore wind farm.

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