BlackRock completes new purchases as Kingfisher partnership shifts gear

BlackRock Real Assets’ Kingfisher partnership has kicked into gear, acquiring 13.5MW of solar assets from developer CTF Solar, a unit of China Triumph.

BlackRock Real Assets has paid £15 million for three sites – the 5MW Wormit Farm asset in Fife, the 3.6MW Stanton under Bardon farm in Leicestershire and the 4.9MW Gretton array in Gloucestershire – all of which are accredited at 1.3 ROCs.

BlackRock announced last summer that it was to launch a £1 billion play for the UK’s secondary solar market, partnering with Lightsource to realise a target of owning 1GW of installed capacity.

A seed portfolio of 25 1.2 ROC and CfD-accredited sites with a total capacity of 156MW was acquired from Lightsource upon announcement of the partnership, and Lightsource said at the time it expected a further 50MW of NI ROC assets to be added before the end of 2017.

While BlackRock Real Assets said it had invested in more than 40 operational assets with a capacity of 350MW, it is not clear how much of that capacity is under the Kingfisher partnership.

Since the partnership was announced oil and gas major BP has acquired a 43% stake in Lightsource, and the newly-renamed entity Lightsource BP will be responsible for the asset management and long-term O&M of the three new sites.

Paul McCartie, group chief investment officer at Lightsource BP, said: “Kingfisher has now established itself as one of the most competitive acquisition platforms in the UK for utility scale solar assets. This latest transaction is a testament of our pricing compatibility and we hope it will encourage further interest from asset owners across the country.”

Meanwhile Michael Harr, general manager at CTF Solar, said that it was delighted to have found “such a well-known and competent pair of hands” for its assets.

“A difficult economic environment marked by fluctuating exchange rates made the construction of the solar parks a challenging project, which has now been completed successfully,” he added.

CTF Solar is a member of China Triumph International Engineering (CTIEC) Group, which itself has been responsible for some notable additions to the UK’s solar portfolio.

CTIEC Group was among the developers of the 50MW AC Shotwick Solar Park, alongside WElink Energy and BSR, which remains the country’s largest private wire solar park.

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