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Duke Energy (DUK) Arm Buys 60 MW Solar Project in Colorado

Zacks Equity Research

Duke Energy Corporation DUK announced that its nonregulated unit, Duke Energy Renewables has acquired the development assets associated with the 60 megawatt (MW) Palmer Solar project in El Paso County, CO, from juwi Americas, a renewable energy company based in Boulder. With this addition, Duke Energy’s unit has two solar projects in Colorado totaling more than 70 MW.

The acquisition is part of the company’s policy to produce 100% electricity of the state from renewable sources by 2040. The Palmer Solar project is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will likely provide enough green power services to nearly 19,000 homes per year.

Utilities’ Focus on Renewables

It is quite evident that renewable sources of energy are being utilized in more diverse ways to produce electricity in the United States. Per the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”), all renewable fuels including wind, solar and hydropower will produce 18% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and almost 20% in 2020.

The utility companies are making full utilization of technological advances made in the field of renewable and government support, resulting in the installation of large renewable energy projects across the United States. Duke Energy is among the leading energy suppliers in the United States that has a goal to expand its renewable energy power generation portfolio. The company is on course to own or purchase 8,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020.

Other utilities like NextEra Energy NEE, through its unit Florida Power & Light Company, (“FPL”) is working on the ‘30-by-30' plan. The objective of the plan is to install more than 30 million solar panels by 2030, making Florida a world leader in solar energy. The company aims to increase solar generation capacity in Florida to 2,000 MW by 2020.

Another utility Xcel Energy XEL continues to produce more electricity from clean sources and lower emission levels. With 38% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels, the company is well ahead of the industry average of 27%. It aims to deliver 100% of its electricity to customers from renewable sources by 2050.

Price Performance
Shares of Duke Energy have outperformed its industry in the past 12 months.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Duke Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same industry is DTE Energy Company DTE, holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

DTE Energy reported average positive earnings surprise of 12.24% in the last four quarters. Its 2019 Zacks Consensus Estimate moved up 0.3% in the past 60 days to $6.20 per share.

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