BlackRock Real Assets has announced that it has agreed to acquire solarZero, marking its first investment in New Zealand and its first residential solar investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The acquisition will see BlackRock Real Assets spend more than NZ$100 million over the next three years to accelerate the growth of solarZero's solar and battery technology platform.
The solar energy services company was established in 2008 and has become a leading provider in New Zealand's solar and smart battery sector, with plans to expand into Australia as well as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and other Asia-Pacific markets.
“Our move into New Zealand demonstrates BlackRock's commitment to invest in attractive markets as part of our broader efforts to offer a flow of addressable global climate investment opportunities for our clients,” said BlackRock Asia-Pacific's co-head of climate infrastructure, Charlie Reid.
“SolarZero is a global pioneer, and we look forward to supporting its expansion into other Asia-Pacific markets and, at the same time, to accelerating New Zealand's net zero journey.”
The company offers a ‘solar-as-a-service’ option to New Zealanders with a fixed monthly solar services fee and no initial upfront installation costs.
It has installed 8,500 solar systems on homes and businesses in New Zealand — more than any other company in the country — which has contributed to the curbing of nearly 10,950 tonnes of carbon emissions and helped deliver NZ$4.5 million in power bill savings.
SolarZero's founder and CEO, Andrew Booth, said that the investment and backing of BlackRock would allow the company to rapidly increase its scale, grow its energy services network and accelerate the transition to a 100 per cent clean energy future.
“By 2030, 50 per cent of the world's energy will be generated in the Asia-Pacific region. The window to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis is closing fast, and the power couple of solar plus storage is one of the few true paths to energy security, stable power prices, and a liveable planet,” he said.
“We need to take urgent action and accessing BlackRock's global network and deep expertise in climate infrastructure will provide the support we need to become a global ‘solar-as-a-service’ solution.”
In New Zealand, the demand for electricity is expected to double by 2050, while residential solar penetration currently sits at 2 per cent.
As the country is targeting 100 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2035 and to become a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, BlackRock stated that there was a “clear and immediate need” for additional residential solar.
“This investment demonstrates BlackRock's unwavering commitment to support the Australasia region on its orderly net zero transition,” commented BlackRock's head of New Zealand and Australia, Andrew Landman.
“We look forward to supporting solarZero in its ambitions of helping more and more New Zealanders to have access to solar and low-cost energy and, in doing so, to make a meaningful contribution to the broader transition of the New Zealand economy.”
The latest acquisition follows a number of other recent investments made by BlackRock Real Assets including Australian energy storage developer, Akaysha Energy.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.