Blackstone's Onyx agrees to 60MW solar pipeline

Onyx Renewable Partners is building on a previous partnership with RBC Capital Markets to build small-scale solar projects in the US.

Onyx Renewable Partners, backed by Blackstone Group, has agreed to a tax equity partnership with RBC Capital Markets to develop 60MW of distributed solar projects in the US.

The deal calls for Onyx to develop and finance 16 solar projects for 11 offtakers across six states, including Massachusetts and New York. Customers include municipalities, commercial and industrial businesses, utilities and military housing. This is Onyx’s second tax equity partnership with RBC Capital Markets. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, along with the management team of solar developer Solops, launched Onyx in 2014 to identify and develop North American renewable power projects. In 2015, the company entered a partnership with military development contractor Corvias Solutions to build solar projects for US bases.

At the group level, Blackstone announced earlier this year it was launching an investment vehicle targeting $40 billion, anchored with a $20 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The fund will primarily invest in core and core-plus assets, but some investments will be made in greenfield opportunities.

Overall, Blackstone has invested more than $12 billion across the energy industry. The firm closed its second energy-focused fund, Blackstone Energy Partners II, in February 2015 on $4.5 billion.

Earlier this month, Blackstone Energy Partners backed a natural gas pipeline under construction in the US in a $1.57 billion deal. In April, the firm agreed to pay $2 billion for EagleClaw Midstream Ventures, one of the largest natural gas pipeline operators in Texas.