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BlackRock buys 80% stake in GE distributed solar and storage unit

GE Renewable Energy will retain a 20% stake in Distributed Solar Development, the former GE Solar, as it focuses on growing wind turbine manufacturing and wind energy services

GE Renewable Energy has sold an 80% stake in its distributed solar and storage solutions business for the commercial, industrial and public sectors to a fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets.

Financial details were not made public. GE Renewable Energy will retain 20% of Distributed Solar Development (DSD), created from GE Solar.

Since 2012, the former GE Solar has grown to more than 60 employees who design, engineer, finance, operate and maintain solar and storage solutions. To date, it has developed 125 projects.

It does not manufacture solar PV panels something GE under former chief executive Jeff Immelt had considered earlier this decade before selling its cadmium telluride solar intellectual portfolio to First Solar in August 2013.

Larry Culp, the present ceo, views Renewable Energy as one of three core foundation pieces – Aviation and Power are the others – for GE’s future growth but with a focus on wind turbine manufacturing and wind energy services.

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“Partnering with BlackRock, a leader in sustainable investment, provides the support we need to take the business to the next level and become the leader in commercial and industrial solar development,” said DSD chief executive Erik Schiemann.

BlackRock Real Assets operates one of the largest renewable power equity investment platforms in the world with $5bn invested in over 250 wind and solar projects totaling more than 5.2GW nameplate generation capacity.

Parent BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and based in New York.

David Giordano, global head of renewable power, said Black Rock said the new company will allow Black Rock clients access to capitalize on the “tremendous growth potential” in the US solar industry.

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