Octopus Energy partners with Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens’ Sherbro Alliance Partners to develop Sierra Leone’s first wind farm on Sherbro Island

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 the 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 are real visionaries 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.”

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