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Octopus Switches On Seven New Subsidy-free Solar PV Plants In Italy

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Octopus Renewables, part of Octopus Group, has today announced that energy generation has commenced from seven solar PV plants in Italy totalling 70MW, providing the equivalent carbon saving of planting 25,000 acres of forest from just 300 acres of land.

The plants are based near Cagliari on the island of Sardinia and produce enough energy to power roughly one fifth of homes in the city. The solar panels also utilise single axis trackers to follow the sun during the day, providing a 30% uplift in production compared to if they were laid flat. The projects will receive no public subsidy and, as announced in two deals last year1,2, have fixed price power purchase agreements in place until 2023.

The commissioning represents an addition to Octopus's considerable European renewables portfolio. Octopus Renewables has grown to become the largest commercial solar energy investor in Europe, as well the UK's largest non-utility investor in onshore wind. It currently manages a global portfolio of renewable energy assets valued at more than £3 billion and with a combined capacity of more than 2.5GW.

Equipment was supplied by BYD (panels), SMA (inverters) and the plants were constructed by Comal Impianti. Octopus was advised by Pavia e Ansaldo (legal) and Rina (technical). The plants are owned by funds managed by Octopus.

Sara Grottola, Commercial Asset Manager at Octopus Renewables, said:

“Subsidy-free solar is still in its infancy in Italy, so this is another significant step forward in their transition to a future powered by renewable energy. The construction of large-scale renewable energy plants has numerous benefits including job creation, with approximately 380 people involved in the construction of these plants alone. The health benefits from improved air quality and reduced energy prices will also help to improve the lives of local residents.”

Matt Setchell, Head of Octopus Renewables, said:

“The connection of these sites cements our position in the top ten Italian PV owners and further demonstrates our ability to construct assets across Europe. As we continue to focus on driving a future powered by renewable energy and reaching out to a wider base of investors, these skills in origination, construction and operation will be critical.”

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