Greencoat Capital’s Solar II fund has paid an undisclosed sum to buy a 156MW UK solar portfolio from BlackRock Real Assets and Lightsource bp.

Greencoat said the acquisition was made by the Greencoat Solar II fund, which invests on behalf of a number of UK pension funds. Lightsource bp will continue to provide ongoing asset management and operational services.

The portfolio is largely renewables obligation certificates accredited with an average of approximately 16 years of support remaining.

The latest deal brings solar generating capacity of funds managed by Greencoat to almost 880MW, the manager said.

BlackRock’s global renewable power team acquired a 90% stake in the portfolio in 2017 through its partnership with Lightsource bp, who maintained a 10% stake in the portfolio.

Karin Kaiser, Greencoat Capital, said: “The acquisition takes installed solar capacity to over 880MW, across the funds we manage, generating enough power across the year to power all the homes in a city the size of Manchester.

“We continue to see a strong opportunity for solar aggregation in the UK, and an active near-term pipeline.”

Kaiser said this transaction delivers to investors in Greencoat Solar II long term secure income cash flows that over the long lifetime of these assets will be uncorrelated to general stock market factors.

Rory O’Connor, global CIO and head of Europe for BlackRock Renewable Power, said: “There is a significant re-allocation of capital underway that underscores the resilience of the sector, even while public markets face uncertainty as the world addresses the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BlackRock said the transaction marks the first successful realisation for BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power II Fund.

”This asset realisation comes as we achieve the second close of our Global Renewable Power Fund III at $1.5bn, reflecting the expertise and depth of the BlackRock Renewable Power platform and strong ongoing demand from our clients looking for renewable power and climate infrastructure investment opportunities that can deliver attractive and sustainable returns,” O’Connor said.

Paul McCartie, CIO for Lightsource bp, said: “The transaction is testament to the strong growth of the UK market and has been realised through the lasting partnership with BlackRock Renewable Power.”

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