NextEra Energy Inc.’s ( NEE) Canadian business wing announced the completion of its 124.4 megawatt ( MW) wind farm in Haldimand County, Ontario. Summerhaven Wind, LP, an operating unit of NextEra’s Canadian division, officially brought online the Summerhaven Wind Energy Centre.
The project’s development work was initiated in 2006 and it received Renewable Energy Approval in Mar 2012. The wind farm consists of 56 turbines generating adequate electricity to power around 32,000 homes. The construction work ran for ten months with the company investing roughly $26 million in the project.
The Wind Energy Centre is integral to NextEra Energy’s Canadian wind program of bringing into service 125 MW of renewable energy in 2013. The company is also making efforts to bring online about 475 MW in the period 2014 to 2015.
Apart from Ontario, the Canadian government is looking to unlock renewable opportunities in the markets of Quebec and British Columbia which will provide an incentive to NextEra Energy to increase its renewable operations.
NextEra Energy is a premier utility service provider that has been aggressively expanding its renewable assets across North America. The company recently spread its operations to Hawaii exploring wind and solar options.
Growing environmental awareness and regulatory pressure in Canada and the U.S. have encouraged utility providers like NextEra to develop their renewable portfolio. NextEra has plans to add about 500-1,500 MW of U.S. wind assets in the period 2013 to 2014.
The company’s U.S. wind and solar programs will receive a boost from President Obama’s ambitious climate plan that calls for the gradual phasing out of coal-fired plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposal for installation of carbon-capture technology in coal-fired utilities will also drive the market for renewable energy.
NextEra Energy presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-placed utility operators include Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) Integrys Energy Group Inc. ( TEG), IdaCorp Inc. ( IDA) and PNM Resources Inc. ( PNM).