Octopus Energy’s generation arm has entered into a milestone partnership with Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens’ development company, Sherbro Alliance Partners (SAP), to build Sierra Leone’s first wind farm as part of the Sherbro Island City project.
Announced at COP28, the collaboration and project will help accelerate the country’s monumental renewables opportunity and collect vital data to foster greater investment into green energy on Sherbro Island, across Sierra Leone and beyond.
The deal will see Octopus build a first-of-its-kind renewables project for the country in 2024, with the potential to expand the partnership in the future.
Up to five wind turbines and solar panels with batteries will generate clean electricity for local communities. The partners are exploring options for the location of the site on Sherbro Island, which will create green job opportunities and training for local people.
SAP is an infrastructure development company co-founded by award-winning actor Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens, the grandson of the former President of Sierra Leone.
Sherbro Island is a designated semi-autonomous Special Economic Zone, which allows private sector entities and investors to lead in the island’s development activities. SAP is on a mission to transform Sherbro Island into a vibrant West African economic hub and dynamic eco-city, where global citizens can live, learn, research, work and play.
The vision is to replicate the transformative economic shifts seen in places like Singapore and Dubai, with a focus on efficient governance, robust infrastructure including high speed connectivity, alongside healthcare, education, arts, film, entertainment, business, and talent development.
The agreement will also see SAP and Octopus open offices in Sierra Leone.
Octopus’ green energy projects – worth $7.5bn – already span over 15 countries in Europe, Asia and Australia, with plans to rapidly scale. This partnership marks Octopus’ first move into renewables in Africa.
This comes as around 28% of Sierra Leone’s population are estimated to have access to electricity, with the country targeting 85% renewable electricity capacity by 2030 – underscoring the massive potential to rapidly scale clean, cheap energy to more people.
Idris Elba, co-founder of Sherbro Alliance Partners, said: “We look at the pristine beaches of Sherbro Island, with the goal of creating a culturally diverse international city that blends African tradition, dynamism, and pride with state-of-the-art infrastructure and services, where development sits in harmony with sustainability. We’re pleased to partner with Octopus Energy who share a profound commitment to sustainability and energy which will be a backbone to development on Sherbro.”
Siaka Stevens, co-founder of Sherbro Alliance Partners: “Sherbro Island City is being founded on sustainable principles, and will be fuelled by clean energy sources. Over the last few years, our mission has been to transform Sherbro and ignite a new way of building African cities, Africa needs new cities. We are focusing on making a significant impact across the region and beyond with partners in the UK, Europe, Americas, Asia, and Middle East. Our collaboration with Octopus is the first of many partnerships which will allow us to achieve this world class vision.”
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said: “This is a momentous day for Octopus as we kick off our first renewables project in Africa. We are incredibly excited to be working with Idris, Siaka and their team who real visionaries are creating a vibrant and sustainable future in Sherbro Island in Sierra Leone. Green energy represents a monumental opportunity across the African continent. Through projects like this, we can get cheap, green electricity to even more people and leverage renewables data to unleash the power of renewables and encourage others to follow suit.”
About Octopus Energy Generation
About Octopus Energy Generation is driving the renewable energy agenda and building green power for the future. This means reshaping the market by leading the transition to a cleaner, greener future through renewable projects connected more deeply to customers and businesses.
As one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, its fund management specialist team launched in 2010 with a mission to accelerate the transition to a future powered by renewable energy.
This team manages 3.2 GW of renewable energy projects like wind and solar farms across 17 countries, worth £6bn.
These projects generate enough green energy to power 2 million homes every year, and is the equivalent of taking over 1 million petrol cars off the road. The business also launched the Fan Club, the world’s first local energy tariff that provides cheaper, greener energy to customers living near local turbines when it’s windy, with a discount of up to 50%. For more information, check out our website.
About Sherbro Alliance Partners
Founded in 2019 by Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens, Sherbro Alliance Partners is an infrastructure development firm spearheading the Sherbro Island City project in Sierra Leone. With a mission to establish the world’s inaugural Afro-Dynamic Eco-City, the organisation aims to create a secure, diverse, sustainable, and pioneering hub for business and tourism. This visionary project will serve as a home for islanders, Sierra Leoneans, the diaspora, individuals of African descent, and global expatriates. Sherbro Alliance Partners
About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy is a global energy and technology group, driving the affordable, green energy system of the future. Its operations span 17 countries and the entire energy value chain. The group invests in, builds and flexibly manages renewable energy, operating a £6 billion portfolio of projects – one of Europe’s largest.
Octopus serves 5.9 million customers globally through its retail arm, and has licensed its advanced data and machine learning platform, Kraken, to support around 52 million customer accounts worldwide through licensing deals with companies such as EDF, E.ON, Origin Energy and Tokyo Gas. Kraken enables Octopus to drive the electrification of heat and transport through smart tariffs and innovative cleantech. Backed by pension funds, investors and energy giants, Octopus Energy Group businesses deliver cheaper, greener energy and cutting-edge tech to countries and customers worldwide. For more information, check out our website.