A fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has completed the acquisition of a 100 percent interest in two operational solar projects in the UK from ib vogt, an experienced German PV (photovoltaic) solar developer. BlackRock acquired the assets through Renewable Income UK (“RI-UK”) fund, a fund focused on investing in wind and solar assets in the UK.
The 12-megawatt solar farm (“Ardleigh”) located in Essex and the 5-megawatt Drakelow solar farm (“Drakelow”) located in Derbyshire have been operational since March 2016. The projects are supported by 20-year fixed price green certificates.
Over the last two years, BlackRock has invested in more than 20 solar projects in the UK representing 146-megawatt of capacity, generating enough renewable energy to power over 168,000 homes annually . This transaction is part of a broader partnership with ib vogt who will continue to provide long-term operations and maintenance services for these projects.
“We are very pleased to invest in the Ardleigh and Drakelow solar projects on behalf of our clients. This transaction represents BlackRock’s continued focus on renewable power investments, where the firm has over $2.8 billion of equity assets under management’ says Rory O’Connor, Managing Director and Head of Renewable Power for Europe at BlackRock. “We continue to see the UK as an attractive market for wind and solar assets where BlackRock invested in more than 45 projects “, Mr. O’Connor added.
Stewart Reed, Managing Director, UK strategic clients at BlackRock, said: “UK institutional investors, with their long investment horizons, are a natural fit to benefit from investment into private market assets such as renewables. Pension funds are thirsty for yield to meet their liabilities and the sector offers access to less correlated, more attractive returns which traditional asset classes are struggling to provide.”
BlackRock operates one of the largest renewable power investment platforms in the world and has invested equity capital in more than 95 renewable power projects in recent years. To date, BlackRock Real Assets has a total invested portfolio of approximately 2.5 GW of generating capacity across wind and solar projects located in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Norway, France and the UK.