BlackRock buys US battery storage developer Jupiter Power


Asset manager BlackRock has acquired US battery energy storage developer Jupiter Power from EnCap Investments.

The largest asset management firm in the world, with around US$10 trillion under management, has agreed to buy Jupiter through its BlackRock Alternatives arm.

The selling parties are EnCap’s EnCap Energy Transition Fund I (EETF I) and co-investors Yorktown Partners and Mercuria Energy. The transaction should close in late 2022, and will see Jupiter become part of a fund managed by BlackRock’s Diversified Infrastructure business.

Founded in 2017, Jupiter only started commissioning battery storage projects last year but has quickly built up a 11,000MW development pipeline including 655MWh of operational projects in the ERCOT, Texas market, making it the largest player there.

It also has 340MWh of projects in or ‘near’ construction including its first in California, while it recently signed a 2.4GWh deal with Energy Vault for US domestic content-qualified battery storage projects to 2024-25, capitalising on incentives provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Jupiter is a pioneer in the utility-scale battery energy storage industry in the US. We are proud to have been their capital provider and partner as they grew the platform and facilitated the integration of renewables onto the US power grid,” said EnCap Energy Transition managing partner Kellie Metcalf, who is also chairwoman of the Jupiter board of directors.

White and Case and Lazard served as legal and financial advisors, respectively, to the sellers while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett provided legal advisory services to BlackRock. The New York-headquartered asset management firm has been expanding its energy storage investments recently.

In August, it acquired Australian developer Akaysha Energy and committed AU$1 billion (US$675 million) to its battery storage buildout, covered by at the time. It is also active in solar-plus-storage projects in the US through DSD Renewables which it bought through its Real Assets division in 2020.

But it also, unsurprisingly given its size, makes venture capital-type (VC) investments. In April, it took part in a US$125 million fundraising round by energy storage-integrated EV charging solution FreeWire Technologies alongside several VC firms.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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