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Dominion Boosts Solar Generation

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Electric and natural gas supplier Dominion Resources Inc. (D - Free Report) enhanced its green power generation portfolio by acquiring three solar-power development projects near Indianapolis, Ind., from Sunrise Energy Ventures. However, the parties did not disclose the purchase consideration.

The three projects comprise Indy Solar I, Indy Solar II and Indy Solar III. These projects will have a peak combined generation capability of 28.6 megawatts of electricity. This will lower the dependence on fossil fuel and reduce the emission of green house gases.

These projects already have a 15-year power purchase agreement with Indianapolis Power and Light Company. This will provide Dominion with a steady stream of revenues.

The increasing awareness of the pitfalls of fossil fuel for electricity generation has prompted 30 U.S. States and the District of Columbia to fix Renewable portfolio standards. Indiana aims to generate 4% of its electricity from renewable sources within the 2013 to 2018 period.

The state’s long-term goal is to generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Dominion’s move to acquire the solar units will help it to meet the renewable generation requirements.

Last week, the company successfully converted the Altavista Power Station from coal to renewable biomass as its fuel source. Dominion will also convert two similar coal-fired stations in Hopewell and Southampton County to renewable biomass units. The company will make an investment of $165 million for the conversion of the units.

Dominion is also investing heavily to improve its infrastructure and generation profile. The company has invested $2.5 billion in its growth projects in 2012 and has plans to invest $10 billion from 2013 through 2017.

Dominion Resources currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other utilities like Entergy Corp. (ETR - Free Report) , DTE Energy Co. (DTE - Free Report) and Calpine Corp. are performing well and currently have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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