BlackRock Real Assets, through its GBP 1billion[1] Kingfisher relationship with Lightsource BP, has acquired a further 57MW[2] of solar assets.

The multi-million pound acquisition, through BlackRock’s Renewable Income UK Fund, will see BlackRock acquire seven solar sites across the UK. The sites were initially construction debt financed with RBS, however through the acquisition this has been repaid and the assets have been sold debt free into BlackRock’s unlevered fund.

The Kingfisher partnership was announced by BlackRock and Lightsource BP last year, targeting the acquisition of UK solar power generation assets, with an anticipated aggregate enterprise value of £1 billion. This represents a total target installed capacity of circa 1GWp[3]. To date 226.5MW has been acquired, including the 57MW portfolio confirmed today.

According to the recent Solar Asset Management Europe report commissioned by SolarPlaza[4] BlackRock could become the third largest solar asset owner in Europe once the Kingfisher partnership reaches its target.

As part of this strategic partnership, Lightsource BP has entered into long term asset management and O&M (Operations and Maintenance) contracts for all 57MW. The addition of this portfolio brings Lightsource BP to approximately 2GW[5] of solar assets under management in the UK.

Rory O’Connor, Managing Director and Head of Renewable Power for Europe at BlackRock said:

“We are delighted to add these acquisitions to our growing UK solar portfolio. Through our strategic partnership with Lightsource BP, we continue to build out our presence and portfolio of solar projects in the UK.”

Paul McCartie, Group Chief Investment Officer of Lightsource BP said:

“Kingfisher continues to establish itself as a leading competitor for the secondary solar market. This additional 57MW cements further our strong relationship with BlackRock and we look forward to continuing to acquire operational utility scale solar assets in the UK, consolidating the secondary solar market.”

Lightsource BP were advised by Baker Mckenzie and BlackRock were advised by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

BlackRock Real Assets has a proven track record in the Renewable Power sector and globally manages more than US $4.9 billion of equity assets. This includes investing in more than 40 solar projects in the UK, representing approximately 350MW of capacity on behalf of their clients. They continue to see the solar market as an attractive investment opportunity for institutional investors.

 

[1] All currency referred to in this document are in GBP unless stated otherwise
[2] MW – megawatts
[3] GWp – gigawatt-peak
[4] Solar Asset Management Europe, May 2018, https://www.solarassetmanagementeu.com/top-70-overview-portfolios-2018
[5] GW – gigawatts