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Duke sells big minority US wind and solar stake to John Hancock

The John Hancock Infrastructure Fund reportedly paid $1.25bn for a 49% interest in 19 wind projects, and 33% to 49% in 21 solar facilities

Duke Energy has completed the sale of a large minority interest in its commercial US wind and solar project portfolio to a fund owned by John Hancock, whose parent in Toronto-based Manulife.

Financial terms of the transaction were not made public. The Charlotte Business Journal reported that the John Hancock Infrastructure Fund paid $1.25bn for a 49% share in 19 wind projects including No Trees with associated battery storage, and 33% to 49% in 21 solar PV farms.

The fund, owned by Manulife Investment Management and John Hancock Insurance Company, also assumes an unspecified amount of debt. Duke will clear $415m in cash from the sale, according to the publication’s website.

"We're excited to begin partnering with John Hancock to continue providing clean and affordable energy to our customers across the country," Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables (DER), the competitive independent power producer and renewables project operator of Duke Energy, said in a statement.

DER ranked 10 th in wind power capacity ownership in the US with 2.31GW on 1 January this year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade group based in Washington, DC.

Wind industry leaps hurdles in Oklahoma as investment booms

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Since then it has announced more than 1GW of wind and solar projects that will come online by the end of 2020 including the 350MW Frontier Windpower II in Oklahoma that will utilise Nordex turbines – a first for the US developer.

“We see a bright future for renewables investment and this collaboration will help us deliver long-term value to customers and investors," added Caldwell.

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