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NextEra's (NEE) Unit to Add 298-MW Solar Energy in Florida

Zacks Equity Research

NextEra Energy Inc. NEE announced that its subsidiary Florida Power & Light Company (“FPL”) has undertaken an initiative to build four new solar plants in Florida. The new solar power plants will have a capacity of 74.5 megawatts (“MW”) each. These are expected to supply clean energy to customers starting from 2020. The solar plants will generate substantial clean energy for supplying electricity to 60,000 homes.

These four new solar plants will require installation of nearly 1 million solar panels, which are part of FPL's “30-by-30” plan to add 30 million more solar panels by 2030. The company already operates 18 solar plants in Florida and the addition of new solar units will further increase green power generation in the sunshine state. The new additions will take solar power generation capacity of FPL in Florida beyond 1,500 MW by the end of 2019.

Development of Renewable Projects

The demand for energy is rising in the United States and a major portion of the electricity will be produced from clean sources. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) expects average U.S. solar generation to rise from 265,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d) a year ago to 301,000 MWh/d in 2019, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 14%.

In addition, EIA forecasts increasing usage of wind to support electricity production in the United States. Courtesy of higher investment in wind power, EIA projects that wind generation will rise from 756,000 MWh/d a year ago to 859,000 MWh/d in 2019. Wind generation is further projected to rise to 964,000 MWh/d (a share of 9%) by 2020. The share of wind power in the company’s renewable generation mix is likely to exceed hydropower’s share for the first time during the year.

NextEra Energy, Inc. Price

NextEra Energy, Inc. Price | NextEra Energy, Inc. Quote

Long-Term Plans

NextEra has well chalked out plans to invest in different projects over the 2017-2020 period. These investments will be directed to modernize and strengthen the existing infrastructure of the company, enabling it to serve the expanding customer base more effectively. The regulated investment helped the company generate adequate cash flow, which was utilized to strengthen existing operation and increase its shareholders’ value. Systematic renewable investments aim to lower the company’s carbon emission by more than 65% in 2021 from 2001 levels.

Other than NextEra, utilities like Xcel Energy Inc. XEL, DTE Energy Company DTE and American Electric Power Company AEP are investing substantially to add clean sources to its generation portfolio.

Zacks Rank & Price Movement

NextEra currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of the company have gained 8.3% over the past six months.

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