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BlackRock buys NZ solar energy services firm
Aims to invest US$59.9 million in solarZero, accelerate growth of battery tech platform
Tom King 14 Sep 2022

A fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has agreed to acquire New-Zealand-based solar energy service company solarZero.

As part of the acquisition, BlackRock Real Assets will commit over NZ$100 million (US$59.9 million) of capital over the next three years to accelerate the growth of solarZero’s solar and battery technology platform.

The investment is BlackRock Real Assets’ first investment in New Zealand and its first residential solar investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

SolarZero, founded in 2008, is a provider of roof-top solar and smart batteries across residential, commercial and community buildings in New Zealand. The firm has installed 8,500 solar systems on New Zealand homes and businesses – more than any other company in the country.

New Zealand has set a target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035 and to be a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. With residential solar penetration currently at 2% and the expected demand for electricity in New Zealand to double by 2050, there is a clear and immediate need for additional residential solar to achieve this target.

“New Zealand is widely recognised as a global leader in renewable energy and climate finance, and we are pleased to make our first investment in this market,” says Charlie Reid, BlackRock Real Assets’ Asia-Pacific co-head of climate infrastructure.

The investment in solarZero further broadens the company’s climate infrastructure portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region. Last month, it acquired an equity stake in Australian electric vehicle (EV) charging provider Jolt Charge for US$67.2 million. The investment aims to support Jolt’s business expansion plans to build out essential infrastructure to enable the transition to EVs in Australia.

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