TransAlta Corporation TAC recently announced its Clean Energy Investment Plan. The company will invest $2 billion under this plan, which includes nearly $800 million renewable energy projects that are under construction. The plan includes conversion of three of the company’s existing Alberta thermal units into gas burners by 2020 and 2021. TransAlta will also convert two of its facilities to highly-efficient combined cycle natural gas units in the 2023-2024 time period.
Moreover, TransAlta’s Clean Energy Investment Plan also consists of the four under-construction wind projects in the United States and Alberta. The plan will be funded by the cash raised from strategic investment deal with Brookfield Renewable Partners (BIP). In March 2019, TransAlta received $750 million aid to meet its clean energy goals.
Focus on Transition
The company is focused on improving its operational performance and transitioning to clean power generation. In line with its transition goal, TransAlta is undertaking initiatives to reduce its carbon emission by converting coal plants into natural gas generating plants and investing in renewable generation. The company aims to reduce emission by 60% by 2030 from 2015 level.
During the first half of 2019, TransAlta Renewables funded $49 million of construction costs for the U.S. Wind Projects. During the first quarter of 2019, the company approved the WindCharger project, which is an innovative 10 MW/20 MWh energy storage project in southern Alberta. We believe that the recent plan will enable the company to meet its goal.
Increasing Focus in Renewables
Per a report by Energy Information Administration (“EIA”), renewables will collectively produce 18% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and 19% in 2020. In the past few years, the usage of renewable energy has gradually increased. The environmental awareness has led to a transition in the utility space. The companies are shifting focus from traditional generating sources to clean energy sources. Other Utilities like Xcel Energy XEL, NiSource NI and Ameren Corporation AEE are making investments to increase focus on renewable sources to add more clean generations in their portfolios.
Shares of TransAlta have returned 13.4% in the past 12 months compared with the industry’s growth of 11.4%
TransAlta currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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