The energy wing of private equity investment giant Blackstone is making another high-reaching move into the $50+ billion rooftop solar installation market with the acquisition of Esdec Solar Group BV announced earlier this month.
Blackstone Energy Partners and Rivean Capital partnered to complete the joint deal for Netherlands-based Esdec, which has developed and deployed mounting structures supporting close to 100 million solar panels since the company’s founding in 2004, according to the release. This year alone, Esdec factored into deployment of more than 3.5 GW in residential, commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftops globally.
“Esdec is at the forefront of the energy transition—one of the highest conviction investment themes globally for Blackstone Energy Partners and our firm as a whole,” Blackstone senior managing director Jurgen Pinker said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our partners Rivean and Esdec’s management team to further grow the business to meet the huge and growing demand for rooftop solar.”
The global rooftop solar installation market was valued at slightly under $50 billion two years ago and is predicted to grow 6 percent annually to nearly $85 billion by the end of the decade, according to an Allied Market Research forecast.
Blackstone itself has invested close to 9 billion Euros (currently about $9.6B U.S.) in the Netherlands array of businesses since 2004. On the energy and climate solution front, the private equity firm has made recent investments in Champlain Hudson Power Express, Xpansiv and Geosyntec.
Rivean Capital initiated its investment in Esdec in 2018 and is adding to that through its Special Opportunity Fund.
“At the core of Rivean’s investment philosophy, we have backed a strong and ambitious management team on its journey from a regional champion to a global market leader,” Maurits Boomsma, senior partner at Rivean, said. “We are very much looking forward to supporting the Esdec team, together with Blackstone, during its next phase of accelerated growth...”
In 2021, Esdec Solar Group itself completed a couple of key acquisitions of competitors in the rooftop mounting system sector. It acquired Solarstell and C&I solar mountain provider PanelClaw.
A 2016 analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated some eight billion square meters of U.S. rooftops available upon which more than 1 terawatt (1 million MW) of potential solar capacity could be installed. Larger-scale rooftops such as C&I buildings could account for 35 percent of the potential distributed solar market, according to NREL.
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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).
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