GE sells solar-business stake to BlackRock

REW_GE_BlackRock

By Richard Clough and Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg

General Electric Co. agreed to sell a majority stake in a solar-energy business to BlackRock Inc., giving the investment giant footing in a growing market as the ailing manufacturer shifts its focus elsewhere.

A fund managed by BlackRock’s Real Assets unit will own 80% of Distributed Solar Development, a new company created from GE Solar, the companies said Wednesday in a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The deal furthers GE’s streamlining as Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp seeks to rescue the conglomerate by narrowing focus around aviation, gas power and wind energy. The Boston-based company is using mergers to exit the oil and locomotive markets, and GE has said it is “evaluating strategic options” for its venture-capital operations.

GE Solar, a consulting business with about 60 employees, has been incubated within GE since 2012. The unit, which doesn’t make solar panels, focuses on “solar and storage solutions for the commercial industrial and public sectors.” GE had explored solar-panel manufacturing but sold its technology to First Solar Inc. in 2013.

GE fell 1.5% to $10.23 at 10:42 a.m. in New York, while BlackRock slid 1.5% to $470.13.

Once Risky

BlackRock’s Real Assets unit, which has more than $50 billion in client commitments, started its renewable-power platform in 2012. The GE deal comes as investors begin prioritizing a solar segment that was once viewed as riskier than developments for utilities or homeowners: projects for commercial and industrial customers.

Part of the impetus is money, as smaller solar farms offer returns that can be more than 2% higher than big projects.

It’s also a matter of availability and supply. Large institutional investors have dominated recent auctions for utility-scale developments, crowding out other would-be buyers. And states including California have committed to rid their grids of emissions, encouraging more renewables developments.

Untitled Document

Recent Articles

Lekela reaches financial close for its West Bakr Wind project

Lekela announced that it has reached financial close on its first wind project in Egypt, West Bakr Win...

Bernie Sanders’ ‘Green New Deal’ aims to have renewables power homes by 2030

Bernie Sanders wants renewable energy to power U.S. homes and vehicles by 2030 -- and he wants to do it by ...

Ireland’s renewables expansion to attract massive investment says report

Ireland is set to add 5.8 GW of non-hydro renewable power capacity over the next decade to reach a total 9....

The IEA’s hydrogen report doesn’t miss the point. It just buries It.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released a major new report on hydrogen, underscoring the re...

Walmart sues Tesla over fires linked to rooftop solar systems

Walmart Inc. sued Tesla Inc., claiming it failed to live up to industry standards in the installation of so...

EVENTS

There is no current content available.

PAST MAGAZINE ISSUE

05/01/2016
Volume 19, Issue 6

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today: