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NextEra, Westar Energy Commission More Wind Power for Kansas

Zacks Equity Research

NextEra Energy NEE and Westar Energy WR jointly celebrated the commissioning of the Kingman and Ninnescah Wind Energy Centers in Kansas. The Kingman and Ninnescah Wind Energy Centers have utilized in excess of 240 General Electric Company GE wind turbines with a capacity of generating approximately 400 megawatts (MW) of power for more than 100,000 homes.


The green energy generated from these projects will serve customers of Westar Energy and its wholesale partner Midwest Energy.


More About the Project


Almost $650 million have been invested in developing these two renewable projects. The Kingman and Pratt Counties are fortunate to have some of the best wind in the nation, and this new project will exploit this wind advantage to the fullest.


Over the projected 30-year operational life, these wind projects will provide more than $40 million in guaranteed payments to the county governments and nearly $100 million in payments to local landowners.


The Growing Wind Power of Kansas


Recently, Enel Green Power North America Inc (EGPNA) announced that it has commissioned all turbines at the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind farm in Kansas. This Clark County wind energy farm is expected to produce about 1.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity each year and cut down about 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.


The wind power generation of the state increased about 18% last year, making it the fifth-highest state in the country.


Other Green Projects from NextEra


NextEra Energy, along with its affiliates, has been focusing on renewable sources for power generation. Its affiliate, Florida Power & Light Company (“FPL”), recently choose two of the nation's premier providers of renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) services – Blattner Energy and Black & Veatch – to construct its latest solar projects. (Read more: NextEra Unit Picks 2 EPC Providers to Build Solar Projects)


Overall Wind Industry 


Wind sector benefited significantly from the production tax credit (“PTC”) extension. The PTC pays 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated and technically expired in 2014. However, to promote generation of more electricity, the PTC has been extended through 2020, but the tax benefit will gradually be decreased before being completely phased out.


Thanks to the expansion of tax credit, we expect more wind projects like these to be commissioned across the U.S. As per a recent release from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. wind energy capacity at the end of 2016 was 81 gigawatts (GW). Given the systematic additions, EIA expects the total wind capacity to touch 95 GW by the end of 2018.


Price Movement


Shares of NextEra Energy returned 10.4% in the last three months, outperforming the Zacks categorized Utility – Electric Power industry’s gain of 7.3%.



The improvement in the economic condition in its service territories as well as additions to renewable generation assets has positively impacted the performance of the company.


Zacks Rank


NextEra Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same space is RWE AG RWEOY, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.


RWE AG’s 2017 Zacks Consensus Estimate moved up by approximately 20% to $1.62 per share in the last 60 days.


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