Blackstone is partner in new renewables business

The PE firm is launching Onyx Renewable Partners, which will focus on the development of utility-scale solar and wind projects in North America.

Through its energy-focused private equity business, Blackstone Energy Partners, the New York firm has partnered with the former management team of solar power developer Solops to create Onyx Renewable Partners, Blackstone said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new company – whose primary focus will be to develop, finance, build and operate utility-scale wind and solar projects in North America – will operate as an affiliate of Fisterra Energy, a company Blackstone formed earlier this year to develop large power projects in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Onyx will be led by Matthew Rosenblum and his former management team at Solops.

According to the statement, over the past three years, Rosenblum’s company has managed the development of more than 100 megawatts (MW) of new renewable power projects, while his team’s capabilities cover all aspects of project development, financing, M&A, construction and operation of energy and infrastructure projects.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Matt and the entire Onyx management team to identify and to develop North American renewable power projects,” said Sean Klimczak, a Blackstone senior managing director who oversees the firm’s power investments. “Onyx will expand Blackstone’s and Fisterra’s existing global footprint, add new renewable generation to our nation’s grid and create value for all stakeholders involved.”

To date, Blackstone has invested approximately $7 billion of equity globally within the energy sector. The firm is in the process of raising its second energy fund, and according to Blackstone's chief financial officer Lawrence Tosi, is close to reaching its $4.5 billion cap. If it does, Blackstone Energy Partners II (BEP II) will be nearly double the size of its predecessor, BEP.

In addition to energy, the New York-listed investment firm also invests in private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds. Blackstone currently has approximately $300 billion in assets under management.