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Sustainable Energy M&A: Duke Acquires Wildflower Solar

January 4, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions has acquired a 100-megawatt (MW) Wildflower Solar project from Clearway Energy Group. Among the companies that will purchase power from the project: Toyota North America, the companies said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Related: See all M&A deals involving ESG and sustainability consulting, technology & software firms here.

Chris Fallon, president, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions

The acquired solar project, which is expected to achieve commercial operation in late 2023, is located in Desoto County, Mississippi. The solar project will generate enough to power approximately 21,000 homes, the buyer said.

Planned customers for the site include Toyota Motor North America -- which has signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement for up to 80 MWs (megawatts) of power produced by the project. One  megawatt is one million watts. The move is a step toward Toyota’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its operations by 2035, the automaker said.

The buyer launched Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions in April 2021. The launch unified multiple organizations under one brand. The unified group as of December 2022 provides wind, solar, resilient backup power and managed services to over 1,000 projects across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of more than 5,100 megawatts of nonregulated renewable power, the company said.

Executive Perspectives: Thoughts on M&A

Kevin Butt, director of sustainability, Toyota Motor North America

In a prepared statement about the deal, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions President Chris Fallon said: “We’re excited to continue to expand our commercial solar portfolio and enter into the Mississippi market, which will build upon the area’s clean energy resources. Once complete, Wildflower Solar will further diversify Mississippi’s energy infrastructure, while also reducing Toyota’s emissions from its North American operations.”

Added Kevin Butt, director of sustainability at Toyota Motor North America: “Our collective future depends on clean mobility, clean air, clean water and biodiversity. Renewable energy sources, like solar, are a key to achieving our goal of carbon neutrality and our purchase from Wildflower alone has the potential to reduce Toyota’s carbon footprint in North America by as much as 8 percent.”

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