BlackRock buys majority of Texas wind farm

The investment manager will acquire a majority stake in a 68MW wind farm in Texas being developed by OwnEnergy.

BlackRock, the New York-based money manager, has agreed to buy a majority stake in a 68-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Texas, owned and developed by OwnEnergy, the New York-based community-scale wind developer said in a statement on Monday.

Construction of Windthorst-2 is set to begin this month and is expected to be operational in autumn 2014. OwnEnergy did not disclose the percentage BlackRock is acquiring nor the financial terms of the transaction in its statement. A spokesperson declined to comment.

The wind developer will maintain a minority ownership stake in the project, manage its construction and oversee operations once it comes online, according to the statement.

“Windthorst-2 is our fifth successful project, bringing the total of in-construction and spinning wind farms we’ve developed to more than 210 megawatts,” OwnEnergy founder and chief executive Jacob Susman said.

Morgan Stanley and affiliates will provide construction financing and JP Morgan will provide institutional equity for the project.

“Adding construction and asset management capabilities to our offering allows us to work directly with world-class financial institutions,” Susman noted.

OwnEnergy is developing Windthorst-2 with Horn Wind, a Dallas-based regional developer. The two companies also worked together to develop Windthorst-1 in 2008, a 51MW wind farm in Texas. Now known as the Bobcat Bluff Wind Farm, Windthorst-1 was sold in March 2012 to EDF Renewable Energy.

OwnEnergy’s business model enables landowners and communities to build and profit directly from their own local wind farms. The company works in partnership with its nationwide network of energy entrepreneurs to develop the approximately 1,400MW of community-scale wind farms in its pipeline.

BlackRock, whose activities include investment management, risk management, and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide, had $4.1 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2013. The firm has a major presence in key global markets, such as the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.