BlackRock Buys 90% Interest in 80 Megawatts of Iowa Wind

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, is buying a 90 percent stake in 80 megawatts of Iowa wind capacity to help diversify its infrastructure fund.

BlackRock is acquiring interests in the 42.5-megawatt Elk and 37.5-megawatt Hawkeye wind farms from RPM Access LLC for an undisclosed sum, the New York-based firm said Wednesday. The Central Iowa Power Cooperative buys electricity from the power plants, which came online in 2011 and 2012, under a long-term contract.

“We’re specifically looking for things that get our portfolio diversified geographically,” Managing Director David Giordano said in a phone interview. “Iowa has been a state that’s had a lot of great penetration, but a lot of it’s operating projects with not a lot of new projects getting done right now. So this was just a great opportunity for us.”

The Elk and Hawkeye wind farms use 32 2.5-megawatt Nordex SE turbines that have been deployed in projects outside the U.S. where BlackRock’s invested, Giordano said. Familiarity with the technology and the long-term power-purchase agreement made the projects attractive additions as the firm beefs up its $1.5 billion infrastructure fund.

“We’ll stay very active through 2015 and into 2016,” Giordano said. “BlackRock has a number of places where these types of investments make sense.”

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