Manulife Investment Management is investing $100m (€96m) in a company specialising in solar, storage, and electric-vehicle (EV) charging solutions, owned by the North American arm of EDF Renewables.

The asset manager is investing the capital on behalf of investors to acquire a minority stake in PowerFlex and will join the board of directors alongside EDF Renewables which will retain majority ownership in the business.

Manulife has also acquired a portfolio of operating assets to serve as the basis for a dedicated financing vehicle for future projects.

PowerFlex is one of the largest developers and installers of commercial solar in the US. The company has deployed and operates approximately 10,000 chargers, which can be integrated with solar and storage systems for increased resiliency and cost savings.

PowerFlex said it plans to use the capital from Manulife to further invest in PowerFlex X, the firm’s proprietary line of software and hardware. Part of the capital will also be used to accelerate the deployment of onsite solar, storage and EV charging.

Pradeep Killamsetty, managing director of infrastructure investments at Manulife Investment Management, said: “We see a strong growth opportunity for PowerFlex’s intelligent solutions, which enable organisations and enterprises to reduce energy costs and increase resiliency by integrating and co-optimising multiple technologies, including solar, battery storage, EV charging, and microgrid systems.”

Raphael Declercq, the CEO of PowerFlex, said Manulife’s investment will “help advance our mission of electrifying the transportation sector and deploying low-carbon infrastructure in a way that also supports a cleaner, more decentralised and resilient grid”.

Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewables North America, said EDF Renewables consolidated its onsite solar, storage and EV charging offerings under the PowerFlex brand in 2021 to meet the growing demand for onsite clean energy and EV infrastructure.

“As a leader in the renewable energy sector, we are pleased to partner with Manulife Investment Management — a company that shares our values of sustainability and innovation — to accelerate the deployment of the cutting-edge solution that PowerFlex offers commercial and industrial customers to decarbonise their onsite energy.”

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