Blackstone Group is selling a $150 million portfolio of
solar power facilities to UK energy investment firm, SDCL Energy Efficiency
Income Trust plc, or SEEIT.
The deal includes a 50 per stake in Onyx Renewable Partners,
the development platform formed by Blackstone in 2016 to identify and to
develop North American renewable energy power projects.
SEEIT will take a 100 percent interest in four commercial
and industrial ) portfolios with a combined capacity surpassing 175 MW. The
agreed transaction will provide SEEIT with access to Onyx’s follow-on pipeline,
which is seen growing to more than 500 MW over the next five years.
The four portfolios in question include more than 200
rooftop, carport and private-wire, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV)
projects in 18 states. About 27 percent of them are already operational or
close to initiating operation. The remaining assets will be completed over the
next year and a half.
SEEIT noted it will also have a right of first refusal to
buy any future Onyx projects at a pre-agreed rate of return. Blackstone will
remain a 50 percent partner in Onyx.
The investment provides SEEIT with a substantial initial
portfolio and a scalable pipeline of opportunities in a major growth market. It
also has strong diversification benefits with investments being made in
portfolios of projects, including smaller projects under 5 MW as well as larger
projects of 5 to 15+ MW.
The Onyx projects increase the supply of renewable energy
generated on-site and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions arising from the
supply, distribution and consumption of energy. They deliver cheaper, cleaner
and more reliable energy solutions directly to the end user.
Commenting on the
acquisition, Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of Sustainable Development Capital LLP,
said: “We are delighted to further diversify the SEEIT portfolio through the
acquisition of these on-site solar and storage projects and to partner with
Blackstone in one of the largest sustainable energy initiatives of its kind in
the United States.
“The projects will make a meaningful impact to reduce the
carbon footprint of commercial and industrial clients across the United States
by providing cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy directly at the point of
use and is strongly aligned with SEEIT’s investment policy and objectives, as
well as the global climate policy agenda.’’
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