BlackRock and Lightsource team up to add 1GW of solar generation in the U.K.



Solar power represents a growing share of the energy mix in the U.K., a country not known for its sun.

The country has about 12-gigawatts of solar capacity that in late May fed a peak 8.7-gigawatts into the national electricity grid, a record high that represented 24% of the total energy mix.

BlackRock, the $5.7 trillion asset manager, and Lightsource, a U.K.-based solar power company, plan to develop a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) portfolio of solar projects across the U.K. “We believe this market continues to present attractive opportunities for institutional investors,” says BlackRock’s Rory O’Connor.

BlackRock’s and Lightsource’s Kingfisher partnership is looking to develop 1-gigawatt of total capacity, Reuters reports.

Kingfisher will incorporate Lightsource’s 156-megawatt solar portfolio and add 50-megawatts in Northern Ireland this year. Solar generation actually outpaced coal power in the U.K.’s electricity grid for six months last year, but government subsidy cuts in 2015 caused the overall renewables sector to contract last year.

The government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee announced that the country would likely miss its 2020 target of 15% renewable power generation.

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