BlackRock buys 10% stake in 1.1GW power plant

The US buyout firm is investing an undisclosed amount in Cricket Valley, a gas-fired facility being developed by Advanced Power in New York.

BlackRock has agreed to acquire about 10 percent of a power plant under development in Dover, New York, via a number of funds it manages through its alternative solutions group and BlackRock Real Assets.

Cricket Valley Energy Centre, the construction of which is slated to begin in the fourth quarter, is a 1.1GW combined cycle gas turbine facility that will have the capacity to power nearly one million homes once completed by the end of 2019. BlackRock did not disclose financial details and declined to comment.

“This transaction represents the strong growth in natural gas investment opportunities given the increased retirements in aging generation facilities, and will bring much needed generation capacity to the supply-constrained Hudson Valley region,” David Giordano, BlackRock’s head of North American renewable power infrastructure, said in a statement.

The announcement comes a few weeks after BlackRock Real Assets announced the appointment of Pat Eilers, a former Madison Dearborn executive the firm hired to build a North American equity strategy focusing on conventional power and energy.

“We are extending our capability beyond renewable power and Pat is the first step in that regard,” Jim Barry, BlackRock’s head of real assets and leader of its infrastructure team, told Infrastructure Investor in June.

Located 80 miles north of New York City in Dover on a 193-acre property, Cricket Valley has existing energy infrastructure, including electric power lines and a natural gas pipeline. It is being developed by Advanced Power, a developer of independent power projects in North America and Europe, in collaboration with GE Energy, Marubeni Power International, TIAA-CREF and Bechtel. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and with offices in Boston and London, the company has 7GW in development or operation.