Lightsource and Blackrock set sights on £1bn solar portfolio

New partnership will seek to acquire 1GW of solar assets over the next three years

Solar developer Lightsource and asset management firm Blackrock have announced plans build up a £1 billion solar portfolio over the next three years.

The companies have formed a new strategic partnership called Kingfisher with the aim of consolidating the secondary solar market in the UK. They expect the installed capacity of the portfolio to reach around 1GW.

Lightsource has seeded the partnership with 25 newly-constructed solar projects with a combined capacity of 156MW, all of which have secured subsidies through the renewables obligation and contracts for difference mechanisms.

The company will add a further 50MW of solar assets in Northern Ireland – again supported by the renewables obligation – once they become operational later this year.

As part of the agreement, Lightsource will provide long-term operations and management services for the portfolio, as it already does for around 1.9GW of solar assets in the UK.

“By leveraging economies of scale, Lightsource can provide cost efficiencies and better returns as we acquire UK solar plants and operate them as part of our growing global portfolio,” said Lightsource chief investment officer Paul McCartie.

Blackrock managing director and head of renewable power for Europe Rory O’Connor commented: “We are pleased to partner with Lightsource in the creation of this new UK solar portfolio. 

“Over the last two years, we have invested in more than 20 solar projects in the UK representing nearly 150-megawatt of capacity on behalf of our clients, and we believe this market continues to present attractive opportunities for institutional investors.”