Rapidly-growing supplier Octopus Energy has unveiled plans to construct a new tech hub in Manchester and double its workforce across the UK by the end of 2021.
The plan is part of the tech unicorn’s vision of making the country the “Silicon Valley of energy.”
Octopus’ new technology centre in Manchester will focus on developing smart technologies that will prepare the UK’s electricity grid for reliance on intermittent renewables and a surge in demand from electric vehicles and heating systems.
The 1,000 new jobs will also be spread across sites in London, Brighton, Leicester and Warwick, where STEM graduates will further development of Octopus’ proprietary green energy technology platform Kraken.
Kraken is behind pioneering time-of-use tariffs that allow households to earn money by using more electricity when supply is high and demand low. The data and service platform has already been adopted by other UK suppliers including E.On, Good Energy and Co-op Energy under technology licence deals.
Chief executive Greg Jackson said the technology could make the UK “the Silicon Valley of energy” and “the best place to invest in creating new clean electricity generation.”
“When Apple created the App Store, nobody knew that it would change the way we order food or transport forever,” he said.
“We’re revolutionising the energy industry in the same way, creating jobs not just through increased demand for affordable renewables, but by facilitating the development of new and emerging industries like electric vehicles, electric heating and vertical farming.”
The Prime Minister and Chancellor enthusiastically greeted Octopus’ plans.
Boris Johnson said the new jobs will “provide exciting opportunities across the country for those who want to be at the cutting edge of the global green revolution.”
“It’s UK tech companies like Octopus who will ensure we continue to build back greener and remain a world leader in pioneering renewable energy, leading the path to net zero whilst creating thousands of skilled jobs,” he added.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “More green jobs is not only good news for British job seekers – it’s a vote of confidence in the UK economy as it recovers, and pivotal to our collective efforts to build a greener, cleaner planet.”
Octopus became the UK’s latest tech unicorn in May when a £300 million investment by Australian energy company Origin gave it a valuation of more than £1 billion.