Duke Energy has signed an agreement to sell minority stake in a portion of its US renewable energy portfolio to the John Hancock Infrastructure Fund (JHIF) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A).

Duke Energy

Image: Duke Energy to sell 1.2GW of renewable energy portfolio to John Hancock. Photo: Courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation.

The renewable energy portfolio is owned and operated by Duke Energy’s subsidiary Duke Energy Renewables. The total enterprise value of the portfolio being sold equals to $1.25bn. The sale will result in $415m in pre-tax proceeds to Duke Energy.

The sale will include 49% of 37 operating wind, solar and battery storage assets and 33% of 11 operating solar assets across the US. Once the sale is complete, John Hancock’s stake will be equal to 1.2GW of generating capacity.

Duke Energy Renewables president Rob Caldwell said: “We look forward to working alongside John Hancock as we continue providing clean and affordable energy to our customers across the country. We will continue to develop projects, grow our portfolio and maintain overall operational responsibilities for the projects just as we do today.

“John Hancock’s investment offers clear validation of the strength of our existing portfolio, and this partnership provides an opportunity for ongoing collaboration and investment as we deliver long-term value to our customers and investors.”

As per the agreement, John Hancock will also have the right to acquire a minority interest in additional wind and solar projects in the future. The acquisition is expected to offer a potential source of growth capital for Duke Energy.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions including approval from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

After all the closing conditions are satisfied, the transaction is expected to be closed in the second half of this year.

JHIF Portfolio Manager and John Hancock Infrastructure Investments Head Recep Kendircioglu said: “We are excited to partner with a leading, strategic owner and operator such as Duke Energy in a high-quality renewable energy portfolio.

“This partnership exemplifies a key component of our investment strategy and represents an attractive opportunity to deploy capital in the renewable energy sector.”

Few days ago, Duke Energy acquired 150MW North Rosamond solar project from Clearway Energy Group. Powered by 477,000 solar panels, the solar plant generates enough clean energy to power 71,000 homes and it is located in Kern County, California. And, this is the sixth solar plant acquired by the company in Kern County.