Duke Energy Corp. DUK recently announced that its largest solar project — Holstein Solar — has come online. The project, based in Texas with total capacity of 200-megawatt alternating current (MWac), can power almost 40,000 homes.
Growing Solar Market in Texas
For the past couple of years, the United States has been witnessing a stark shift in preference of utility providers like Duke Energy toward enhancing their clean energy portfolio and shedding fossil-fuel energy sources like coal. The Holstein Solar Project is another testament to this fact.
As far as the state of Texas is concerned, a steady growth in its economy in recent times has boosted electricity consumption. As the nationwide consensus is in favor of adopting clean energy, the solar market is expanding rapidly in this state. Per the latest report by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Texas is poised to become a nationwide leader in solar energy, with more than 4 GW of capacity expected to be installed over the next five years.
Such projections clearly reflect the expansion opportunities that Texas is offering to utilities like Duke Energy that want to enhance their solar portfolio.
Notably, with the Holstein Solar project, the utility is now operating four solar generation facilities in Texas. Looking ahead, Duke Energy is working to complete construction of its 200-MWac Rambler Solar project in Tom Green County, which is expected to be in commercial operation by mid-2020. On this fifth project’s completion, the company’s total Texas solar energy portfolio will total 514 MWac.
Global Solar Boom: Duke Energy & Others
While Texas remains a lucrative market for solar players’ expansion, the global solar market has been rallying over the past decade. Per a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global solar power market size is projected to reach 4766.8 MW in 2026 from 2019, exhibiting a CAGR of 30.7%.
To reap the benefits from this expanding global solar market, Duke Energy and other utility providers are making every possible effort, which is expected to boost profits.
As one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy currently owns, operates and contracts more than 8,000 MW of capacity and plans to double that by 2025.
During the first quarter of 2020, NextEra Energy NEE added 1,590 MW of renewable projects to its backlog, which includes 420 MW of solar and 457 MW of battery storage. The company operates more than 2,000 MW of solar generation.
Ameren Corp. AEE aims at expanding renewable sources by adding at least 100 MW of solar generation by 2027. On the other hand, Consolidated Edison ED generated 1,154 million kWh of electricity from solar projects for the three months ended Mar 31, 2020.
In year-to-date time, shares of Duke Energy have dropped 10.7% compared with the industry’s 13.5% decline.
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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