Greencoat swoops on 156 MW UK solar portfolio

May 22, 2020

Greencoat Capital has agreed the acquisition of a 156 MW photovoltaic portfolio from BlackRock Real Assets and Solar 2 fund is investing in the portfolio on behalf of several large UK pension funds.

The acquisition brings solar generating capacity of funds managed by Greencoat to almost 880 MW.

The solar assets are held in BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power 2 Fund, which has provided investors with a “combination of stable income and attractive capital growth at exit” said BlackRock.

The portfolio is largely Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC) accredited with an average of approximately 16 years of support remaining.

One of the assets, the 14.4 MW Charity Farm, is backed through Contract for Difference (CfD).

BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power team acquired a 90% stake in the portfolio in 2017 through its partnership with Lightsource BP, which maintained a 10% stake in the portfolio.

Greencoat has acquired 100% ownership from both vendors.

Lightsource BP will continue to provide ongoing asset management and operational services.

Greencoat Capital’s Karin Kaiser said: “This is a brilliant portfolio of proven operational assets that will provide our clients predictable cashflows with inflation protection over the long term, whilst contributing to the decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity sector.

“The acquisition takes installed solar capacity to over 880 MW, across the Funds we manage, generating enough power across the year to power all the homes in a city the size of Manchester.

“We continue to see a strong opportunity for solar aggregation in the UK, and an active near-term pipeline.”

BlackRock Renewable Power global chief investment officer Rory O’Connor added: “The structural transition to a lower carbon future is providing attractive investment opportunities in renewable power globally.

“There is a significant re-allocation of capital underway that underscores the resilience of the sector, even while public markets face uncertainty as the world addresses the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This asset realisation comes as we achieve the second close of our Global Renewable Power Fund 3 at $1.5bn, reflecting the expertise and depth of the BlackRock Renewable Power platform and strong ongoing demand from our clients looking for renewable power and climate infrastructure investment opportunities that can deliver attractive and sustainable returns.”