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Duke Energy (DUK) Achieves 700 MW of Solar Pledge in Florida

Duke Energy Corp DUK recently unveiledthat it has fulfilled its pledge to deliver 700 megawatts (“MW”) of clean energy to its Florida customers during the 2018-2022 period as part of its ultimate aim of supplying 1,500 MW of clean energy by 2024. The company achieved the 700 MW milestone through the completion of the Charlie Creek Solar Power Plant, which comes with a generation capacity of 74.9 MW.

Duke Energy’s Solar Commitment

Considering the current environment of deepening climatic problems, Duke Energy like other utilities has been contemplating options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the infrastructure that aids net-zero emissions.

Backed by such goals, DUK intends to build a solar generation portfolio of 25 grid-tied solar power plants that will involve a combined investment of more than $2 billion by 2024.

Additionally, the 700 MW of solar generation goal also constitutes Duke Energy’s currently operational nine other solar sites spread across north and south Florida. All solar sites combinedly boast the capability of producing enough energy to replace 140 million gallons of gasoline every year during peak hours.

The successful execution of the 700 MW commitment has put Duke Energy a step ahead toward achieving its target of net-zero carbon emissions from electric generation by 2050. Such clean energy initiatives will eventually strengthen Duke Energy’s position in the expanding clean energy space, thereby boosting its revenue generation prospects.

Peer Moves

Alongside Duke Energy, major utility companies, such as CenterPoint Energy CNP, Entergy Corporation ETR and Ameren Corporation AEE, are steadily expanding their solar portfolio to reap the benefits of the growing renewable market.

For instance, in July 2022, CenterPoint Energy announced that its Indiana-based electric and natural gas business, CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, is seeking approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to acquire a 130 MW solar array as part of the company's long-term electric generation transition plan.

CenterPoint Energy boasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 3.9%. CNP shares have appreciated 22.4% in the past year.

In May 2022, Entergy Mississippi announced the completion of its Sunflower Solar Station project, the largest utility-owned solar installation in Mississippi that boasts the capacity of the 100 MW renewable solar power station near Ruleville in the Mississippi Delta.

Entergy has a long-term earnings growth rate of 6.7%. ETR shares have risen 1.4% in the past year.

In June 2022, Ameren Missouri announced the planned acquisition of the company's largest-ever solar facility, a 200 MW solar installation in central Missouri that is expected to create more than 250 construction jobs.

Ameren’s long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 7.2%. AEE shares have returned 4.1% in the past year.

Price Movement

In the past six months, Duke Energy’s shares have rallied 6.1% compared with the industry’s growthof 7.7%.

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Zacks Rank

Duke Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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