John Hancock to buy into 1.2 GW of Duke's renewables portfolio

Millfield solar park, North Carolina. Author: PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy

April 25 (Renewables Now) - US utility Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) said on Wednesday it has agreed to unload 1.2 GW of wind, solar and battery storage assets to the John Hancock group, part of Canada’s Manulife Financial Corporation (TSE:MFC).

The capacity is part of Duke Energy’s commercial renewable energy portfolio. The utility said on Thursday it will offload it by selling a 49% stake in 37 operating wind, solar and battery storage plants and 33% of 11 photovoltaic (PV) assets. The above-mentioned 1.2 GW of capacity represents John Hancock's interest after the transaction closes.

The total enterprise value of the deal is estimated at USD 1.25 billion (EUR 1.12bn), including proportional existing project-level debt.

According to the definitive agreement, the equity interests will be bought by John Hancock Life Insurance Company and private equity fund John Hancock Infrastructure Fund GP (JHIF), which is managed by the John Hancock Power & Infrastructure team. Following the transaction, Duke Energy will get pre-tax proceeds of USD 415 million that will help it support growth plans and lower future debt issuance needs. The utility will keep the majority of the remaining tax benefits from the projects.

The sale is pending regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the second half of this year.

John Hancock will have the right to buy a minority interest in other Duke Energy wind and solar projects in the future, the utility said.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.896)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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