BlackRock buys Taiwanese solar power developer for $238m

The deal is the second investment for BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power III following a commitment to Belgian renewable developer Windvision in September.

BlackRock Real Assets has agreed to acquire a majority equity interest in Taiwanese solar developer and operator New Green Power.

It is the $7.4 trillion fund manager’s third investment in Taiwanese renewables, following the acquisition of 28 solar projects totalling 70MW in capacity from J&V Energy in 2018 and 14 solar projects totalling 115MW in capacity from NGP and J&V Energy in 2019.

BlackRock and NGP declined to disclose details of the deal’s structure, but Infrastructure Investor understands BlackRock Real Assets will acquire a 70 percent stake in NGP for approximately NT$6.8 billion ($237.6 million; €201.2 million).

The US fund manager has said the acquisition will be made through a private fund that invests in climate infrastructure assets globally. A source familiar with the deal confirmed that the fund is Global Renewable Power III, a vehicle that held a first close on $1 billion in December 2019 and is targeting $1.2 billion. The fund has received commitments from more than 35 institutional investors in North America, Europe and Asia.

This is GRP III’s second investment, a source familiar with the deal said. In September, the fund invested in Belgian renewable energy developer Windvision to construct and operate wind and solar power plants in Belgium, France and Spain. The transaction value was not disclosed.

Aiming to build out a 1GW solar portfolio in Taiwan over the next three to five years, NGP has developed more than 350MW of solar power plants in Taiwan and Japan, according to its website. NGP stated it will continue to operate under its existing management team who will lead the growth of the platform in Taiwan, with the firm’s solar projects operating under the country’s 20-year feed-in tariff policy.

Taiwan aims to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025, including 20GW from solar power and 5.7GW from offshore wind. The country has a target to develop a further 10GW from offshore wind power between 2026 and 2035.

The NGP deal falls under the umbrella of BlackRock Renewable Power, the firm’s renewable energy platform that sits within the real assets division. BlackRock’s latest annual report said the platform has more than $9 billion of invested and committed capital supporting more than 270 wind and solar projects worldwide.

These projects are expected to produce about 186 million MWh over their lifetime, enough to power the energy needs of countries like Mexico (22 million households) or Spain (18 million households) for one year.

According to its latest annual report, BlackRock had $19 billion of AUM in infrastructure as of 31 December 2019, an increase from $14 billion a year earlier, and had committed capital of $7.4 billion that had not yet been invested.

BlackRock declined to comment beyond its public statement.