BlackRock announced the acquisition of New Zealand-based solar and smart-battery technology platform, solarZero, by its BlackRock Real Assets division. The investor also announced that it would commit over NZD$100 million (USD$60 million) of capital in upcoming years to accelerate solarZero’s growth across residential, commercial and community buildings.
Established in 2008, solarZero is a “solar-as-a-service” provider to New Zealanders, aimed at improving access to low-priced energy, with no-installation costs, and fixed monthly solar service fees. To date, solarZero has installed 8,500 solar systems on homes and businesses – more than any other company in the country – through their virtual power plant (VPP) system that monitors, manages, and connects a network of solar and smart batteries that provide power supply when and where needed through a centralized power grid.
Andrew Booth, CEO and Founder of solarZero, said:
“By 2030, 50% 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.”
The acquisition marks BlackRock Real Assets’ first investment in New Zealand and the first residential solar and battery investment made by BlackRock’s Climate Infrastructure business in the Asia-Pacific region. The region accounts for 41% of global rooftop solar capacity in 2021, solarZero stated that it aims to expand into a range of markets in Asia Pacific, beginning with Australia as well as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore in the future.
Charlie Reid, Asia-Pacific Co-Head of Climate Infrastructure at BlackRock, said,
“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.”
BlackRock has been actively scaling its climate infrastructure capabilities recently, including the launch in June of a new “perpetual infrastructure strategy,” aimed at pursuing long-term investment opportunities in the megatrend themes of energy transition and energy security. BlackRock’s Climate Infrastructure business also recently announced its first battery storage investment in Asia Pacific, with the acquisition of Australian battery energy storage systems and renewable energy developer Akaysha Energy.
Andrew Landman, Head of New Zealand and Australia, BlackRock, said:
“This investment demonstrates BlackRock’s unwavering commitment to support the Australasia region on its orderly net zero transition. 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.”