Charlotte-based Duke Energy is selling its utility-scale commercial renewables business to Brookfield Renewable in a deal valued at approximately $2.8 billion, including non-controlling tax equity interests and the assumption of debt.

Brookfield Renewable will acquire Duke Energy Renewables, a fully integrated developer and operator of renewable power assets in the USA with 5,900 megawatts (MW) of operating and under construction wind, utility-scale solar and storage assets, and a 6,100-MW development pipeline that is “well positioned to benefit from a highly supportive regulatory backdrop and growing demand for renewable energy from commercial and industrial buyers”, Brookfield Renewable said in a news release.

The primary operations of the business will remain in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Duke Energy employees that support the business will transition over to Brookfield to maintain business continuity for its operations and customers, according to the release.

The sale, expected to close by the end of 2023, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

Duke Energy's expected net proceeds from this transaction are approximately $1.1 billion, subject to certain customary adjustments. The company said it will utilize the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet and avoid additional holding company debt issuances, allowing the company to focus on the growth of its regulated businesses, including investments to enhance grid reliability and help incorporate over 30,000 MW of regulated renewable energy into its system by 2035.

"As one of the country's largest renewable energy operators, Brookfield has the resources to support the continued growth and success of the Commercial Renewables' portfolio", Duke Energy Chair, President, and CEO Lynn Good said. "This sale is an important step in our transition into a purely regulated company with significant grid and clean energy investment plans that will deliver benefits to our customers and stakeholders."

"With this acquisition, we are adding a scale operating renewable platform with a full suite of in-house capabilities and a proven management team experienced in operations and development", Brookfield Renewable CEO Connor Teskey said. "We are also adding to our pipeline of renewable development projects, solidifying our position as one of the largest renewable energy businesses in the U.S. with almost 90,000 megawatts of operating and development assets."

Meanwhile, Duke Energy said it also continues to make strong progress on a separate sale underway for its distributed energy business, which is also expected to close by year-end 2023.

According to the company website, Duke Energy’s electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers, while its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in the USA. The company is executing an “aggressive clean energy transition” to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Brookfield Renewable is the flagship listed renewable power company of Brookfield Corporation, a global alternative asset manager with over $825 billion of assets under management. The company says it operates one of the world's largest publicly traded, pure-play renewable power platforms, with hydroelectric, wind, utility-scale solar, and storage facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Its portfolio totals approximately 31,600 MW of installed capacity and includes a development pipeline with approximately 131,900 MW of renewable power assets.

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