Octopus enters Australian solar market

Solar panel array under blue sky (chinese solar)
Image: Shutterstock

Octopus, the largest commercial solar player in Europe, has announced its expansion into the Australian market with the opening of an office in Melbourne.

The move builds on Octopus’ track record in Europe, where it has attracted significant retail and institutional funds since the company entered the renewables market in 2010.

Octopus head of energy investments Matt Setchell said the company intends to build a portfolio of scale, as part of the plan to expand its energy business beyond Europe.

“Australia has fantastic solar and wind resources and the potential to be at the leading edge of renewables,” Mr Setchell said.

“The team now on the ground in Australia has been integral in growing our business into Europe’s largest solar investment management business in the past five years.

“These two factors combined present an exciting opportunity for us to become a significant player in Australia’s energy transition.”

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the government was keen to attract more investment to the state.

“Octopus Investments’ arrival in Melbourne proves that the Victorian Government’s ambition to create a world class ecosystem for investment and innovation centred around a clean smart energy state is attractive,” she said.

Octopus is the largest non-utility investor in onshore renewables in the UK and also the largest solar commercial solar player in Europe with a $4.5 billion portfolio of clea energy assets totalling 2026MW.

Head of Octopus’ new Australian office, Sam Reynolds, said the company is treating its entry into Australia as a long-term investment.

“The fundamental shift from fossil fuels to renewables is already underway,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Policies and markets will need to adapt – we’ll be leveraging our extensive European experience to navigate this rapidly evolving market and bring the right investment opportunities to our investors.

“In the process we’ll be creating jobs in Australia, financing the growth of Australian innovations and bringing cheaper and cleaner energy to Australian businesses and homes.”

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