BlackRock Real Assets is selling on a 156MW portfolio that it co-owns with Lightsource BP to Greencoat Capital.

The duo first unveiled a partnership in 2017, announcing plans to develop 1GW of solar capacity in a £1 billion play. Today (21 May), they are now selling off a 156MW portfolio as part of BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power II Fund.

However, a spokesperson for BlackRock confirmed to Solar Power Portal that it remains active in the UK solar market and is continuing to look at new-build assets, stating the investment approach of the Fund is “to invest in greenfield assets and de-risk these assets over time by bringing them through construction and building an operating track record, before we maximise value for investors at exit”.

Greencoat Capital has snapped up the portfolio, making the acquisition on behalf of a number of UK pension funds. The transaction brings the solar capacity of funds managed by Greencoat to almost 880MW and marks the first successful realisation for BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power II Fund.

The portfolio is mostly Renewables Obligation Certificates accredited, with an average of around 16 years of support remaining. One of the assets in the portfolio, the 14.4MW Charity Farm, is backed through the Contracts for Difference scheme.

“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,” said Greencoat Capital’s Karin Kaiser.

“This transaction delivers to investors in Greencoat Solar II long term secure income cash flows that over the long lifetime of these assets will be uncorrelated to general stock market factors.”   

BlackRock acquired a 90% stake in the portfolio in 2017, with Lightsource BP maintaining its 10% stake in the portfolio at that time. However, Greencoat now has 100% ownership. The portfolio was originally developed and constructed by Lightsource BP, and the company to continue to provide ongoing asset management and operational services.

Roy O’Conner, global chief investment officer and head of Europe for BlackRock Renewable Power, said: “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.”