BlackRock has reopened its Renewable Income UK fund, securing a further £475 million ($618.7 million; €535.3 million) for what is now the largest renewable energy fund in the UK.
RI UK now has total commitments of more than £1.1 billion after the third reopening, following its launch in 2014. An initial close of £500 million was held in that year, while a second close in June last year edged the fund towards £637 million.
It has so far invested more than £600 million in 40 wind and solar projects in the UK and delivered a yield of 6 percent last year. The firm announced in February it had acquired the 12MW Ardleigh and 5MW Drakelow solar farms from German developer ib vogt, although the composition of the fund’s portfolio is weighted towards onshore and offshore wind projects, with its most recent investment in March buying two further sites with 19MW capacity.
BlackRock said the fund has drawn “strong demand” from UK pension schemes and the latest fundraising round has been underpinned by 70 percent of the commitments coming from existing investors. Previous pension fund pledges to the vehicle include a £100 million investment from Transport for London as well as commitments by Northern Foods, Land Rover and the BBC.
Rory O’Connor, head of European renewables investment for BlackRock, said the firm “continues to see the UK as an attractive market for wind and solar assets”.
The latest commitments to the BlackRock renewables fund come two weeks after the firm closed its second Global Renewable Power Fund on $1.65 billion. BlackRock also closed a European-focused Renewable Income fund last August on €650 million, exceeding its initial €500 million target.