Partnership will accelerate New Zealand’s transition to 100% renewable electricity with over $1.0bn on track to be deployed over next decade
AUCKLAND. solarZero, New Zealand's leading provider of solar, battery storage and energy services, announced today that a fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has agreed to acquire the company . New Zealand is currently leading Asia Pacific's clean energy transition, and solarZero has built the region's largest virtual power plant using its proprietary smart battery and energy management platform. BlackRock's Climate Infrastructure business, which sits within BlackRock Real Assets, will work with solarZero's management team to build on the company's market leading track record and drive its next phase of growth, both in New Zealand and internationally.
"Kiwis want clean and resilient energy. BlackRock Climate Infrastructure team's investment and backing will enable us to rapidly scale, grow our energy services network, and accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy future" said Andrew Booth, Founder and CEO of solarZero. "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 isone of the few true paths to energy security, stable power prices, prosperity, and a liveable planet."
solarZero's unique energy-as-a-service model accelerates solar and battery uptake without the need for government subsidies and with $0 upfront removes the barrier of a $25,000 plus upfront to install and maintain a solar and battery system. Uptake of the service is flat across the deprivation index, democratising renewable energy to help ensure that the transition to a net-zero economy will bring about a more equitable society.
solarZero is installing a new system every 35 minutes and plans to invest $1.0 billion in new insolar and battery systems across New Zealand over the next 10 years. The service currently powers the homes of almost 9000 families, generating over 89GWh of energy each year and with over 48MWh of storage its service provides active support to the national grid by reducing peak loads across the country by 16MW every day. Combined, solarZero customers have saved over $4.5 million on their power bills, reducing carbon emissions by 10, 950 tonnes, the equivalent of planting 102,000 trees.
Charlie Reid, Asia-Pacific Co-Head of BlackRock's Climate Infrastructure team 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. 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. 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."
solarZero co-developed with Panasonic, the world leading battery manufacturer, its smart battery platform which is at the heart of its energy service. The platform gives customers a personalised energy plan and connects them together to form clean, resilient virtual power plants—freeing them from power outages and rising energy costs.
"Our engineers in Japan and Singapore have spent the past five years working alongside solarZero's team in Auckland to achieve significant design, technology and cost breakthroughs. This is a world-first battery platform design, and we are looking forward to working alongside solarZero and the BlackRock Climate Infrastructure team to take this breakthrough technology global," said Stewart Fowler, Managing Director of Panasonic New Zealand.
solarZero, a recipient of numerous financial and technology innovation awards, turns homeowners and businesses into active members of the new energy economy by giving them the freedom to generate, store, and control their own clean energy, and support their communities.
solarZero is a smart solar energy service which allows homeowners to power their homes by streaming the sun’s energy and converting to usable electricity - at a price which can be up to 30% cheaper than buying electricity from the grid. This unique solar energy service requires no upfront costs. The hardware of the system remains the property of solarZero, who manage the installation, maintenance, and servicing while the homeowner enjoys the benefits without the investment. The solarZero system comprises solar panels and a smart battery - allowing stored power to be accessed even when the sun isn't shining or in a power cut.
About BlackRock Real Assets
In today’s dynamic and complex global investing market, BlackRock Real Assets seeks to help clients access real assets that could help meet their investment goals by providing a distinct range of well defined, outcome orientated strategies, along the investment risk-return spectrum.
BlackRock Real Assets' dedicated teams of industry and sector specialists deliver global reach, with deep local expertise. They have decades of relevant experience, are deeply embedded in their operating industries by sector and geography and have developed strong partnership networks over time. BlackRock’s culture of risk management, knowledge sharing and investment discipline sets BlackRock Real Assets apart and underpins all that they do. With over 400 professionals in 30 offices managing over US$70 billion in client commitments as of June 30, 2022, BlackRock Real Assets partners with clients to provide solutions tailored to individual portfolio needs such as income, growth, liquid or balanced real assets outcomes.
Notes for Editors:
What is a virtual power plant and how does it work?
A virtual power plant (VPP) is a network of home solar battery systems all working together in a coordinated way. It enables lots of small household batteries to form a single large power source and is part of the solution for shifting the electricity system to renewable electricity.
For more information:
BlackRock (Australia and New Zealand)
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