Dominion Buys Another Solar Plant in CA

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Dominion Resources Inc. (D) further enhanced its solar generation capacity in California by acquiring a 20 megawatt (MW) solar project from EDF Renewable Energy. Earlier, in April, the company had acquired six solar projects having a combined capacity of 139 MW from Recurrent Energy.

The 20 MW CID Solar Project will use First Solar’s (FSLR) Series 3 solar photovoltaic modules with horizontal single-axis trackers. The Californian solar projects lately acquired by Dominion are expected to start commercial operation from late 2014 or early 2015.

Dominion has long-term power purchase agreements in place for all the 159 MW of solar power. This will assure a steady return on its solar investments. The power generated from the CID Solar Project will be delivered to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (PCG), for 20 years.

The total solar generation capacity of Dominion Resource presently stands at 232 MW, including both in-service and under-construction plants. Dominion targets to place 250 MW of solar generation into service within the 2014-2015 time frame. The latest acquisitions are in line with the company’s plans.

Although Dominion’s solar generation output is almost negligible when compared to its total generation capacity of 23,600 MW, the company is striving to expand its renewable assets. Dominion presently generates nearly 78% of its power from nuclear and fossil fuel sources.

The renewable energy standards set in Dominion’s service territories plus the recent Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to lower carbon pollution by 30% from 2005 levels will likely result in more renewable investment from Dominion.

Dominion currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), in the utility space looks good.

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