Published on July 27th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
Lightsource & BlackRock Enter Into £1 Billion “Kingfisher” Solar Acquisition Partnership
July 27th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
Asset manager BlackRock and solar energy firm Lightsource announced this week that they have entered into a partnership together expected to be worth £1 billion, targeting the acquisition and ownership of UK solar power generation assets, with a total target value of 1 GW.
The new partnership between the two firms, called “Kingfisher” was announced on Tuesday. The group aims to consolidate the secondary UK solar market, and will begint with a portfolio seeded by Lightsource of 25 newly-constructed ROC and CFD solar assets with an installed capacity of 156 MW, with a further 50 MW to be added later this year once operational. Moving forward, Lightsource and BlackRock Real Assets are aiming to target acquisitions of operational utility-scale solar assets across the UK over a three-year period.
“We’re incredibly excited about this partnership with such an established and prestigious investor as BlackRock in the UK,” said Lightsource Chief Investment Officer, Paul McCartie. “Kingfisher is confirmation of our proven differentiation as a professional partner to institutional capital globally, and ability to create profitable and sustainable investment opportunities in the solar and energy broader market. By leveraging economies of scale, Lightsource can provide cost efficiencies and better returns as we acquire UK solar plants and operate them as part of our growing global portfolio. This is the clear differentiator between Lightsource and many other solar companies.”
“We are pleased to partner with Lightsource in the creation of this new UK solar portfolio,” added Rory O’Connor, Managing Director and Head of Renewable Power for Europe at BlackRock. “Over the last two years, we have invested in more than 20 solar projects in the UK representing nearly 150-megawatt of capacity on behalf of our clients, and we believe this market continues to present attractive opportunities for institutional investors. In working closely together with Lightsource as a leading developer and operator of solar projects we are confident to realize a lot of additional potential in the market.”
BlackRock Real Assets already manage more than $4.8 billion worth of equity assets across the renewable power sector. As the biggest asset manager in the world, BlackRock also leads the way in terms of sustainability in its investments, ensuring that climate change is made an important factor of how it assigns risk to its investment portfolio.
Meanwhile, since its founding back in 2010, Lightsource has deployed more than £2.2 billion into solar assets and are responsible for the largest dedicated solar operations & maintenance (O&M) division in Europe, managing a portfolio of over 7,500 acres of solar, or around 1.9 GW worth of solar across the UK.
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