John Hancock commits $21m to US solar portfolio

The life insurer has made a direct investment in a bundle of solar assets managed by fintech company CleanCapital.

John Hancock Life Insurance Company has invested $21 million of senior debt in a solar portfolio managed by CleanCapital.

The investment gives John Hancock access to an 8.1MW US solar portfolio in Delaware, Colorado, California, North Carolina, Oregon and New Jersey. The solar installations primarily generate electricity for schools and hospitals.

CleanCapital, a financial tech company that helps investors find clean energy opportunities, said this was its first completed offering where a private investor committed directly to a diversified solar portfolio. It said its platform “identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects for its investors” and “gives people more access to these investments”.

“This is an exciting time for CleanCapital and a turning point for clean energy investing, as we demonstrate to the market a more efficient process for solar developers to quickly exit their existing distributed generation portfolios,” CleanCapital co-founder Jon Powers said in a statement.

In May, John Hancock invested $227 million in a 201MW portfolio of residential, commercial and industrial projects held by US solar provider SolarCity. That came nearly a year after the insurer created a warehouse facility, along with Macquarie Capital, to hold assets planned for SunEdison to eventually purchase.