BlackRock joins Taiwan’s renewables rush with solar buy

The firm becomes the latest to embrace Taiwan’s renewables revolution, joining the less sought-after solar market.

BlackRock Real Assets has secured its maiden deal in Taiwan, buying a 70MW solar portfolio from J&V Energy Technology.

The portfolio comprises 28 projects, a mixture of operational and under construction sites, with the portfolio set to be fully operational next year. The set of projects includes the Yong An solar plant, currently the largest operational floating project in Taiwan with a 4.2MW capacity.

The deal also sees BlackRock’s first floating solar acquisition. New Green Power, its EPC partner for the acquired portfolio, is currently building a 14MW floating plant and working alongside J&V Energy.

The investment was made through BlackRock’s $1.65 billion Global Renewable Power II fund, which is a little over 75 percent invested. Prior to the Taiwanese deal, transactions in Japan and Australia had contributed to Asia-Pacific, accounting for about 30 percent of the portfolio.

BlackRock’s investment means it becomes the latest foreign investor to embrace Taiwan’s renewables sector, although the crowd has largely been drawn to its growing offshore wind market, with Macquarie, Orsted and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners all investing in the sector. Partners Group backed the country’s solar development with a $200 million investment in 2016 and Taiwan has since called for installations of 20GW by 2025.

Last month, BlackRock bought Guleslettene, a construction-ready 197.4MW wind farm in Norway. GRP II was generating a negative IRR of 5.19 percent as at 31 March 2018, according to the Minnesota State Board of Investment, largely due to many of the assets still in construction phase. GRP II targets net returns of between 9 and 10 percent.