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NextEra's Unit to Add 700 MW Battery Storage in California

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NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) announced that its subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will add 700 megawatt (MWs) of fully contracted battery storage projects in California before the end of 2022. In addition, NextEra Energy Resources has a current pipeline of nearly 2,000 MW of shovel-ready or near shovel-ready battery energy storage projects in California, which are expected to come online between 2023 and 2024.

NextEra’s planned battery storage projects in California alone is nearly twice the total installed capacity of battery storage in the United States today (nearly 1,350 MWs). However, the build out of the 2,000 MW energy storage pipeline is contingent on obtaining long-term power purchase agreements for the projects and the necessary regulatory approvals.

Importance of Storage Projects

Renewable energy source is gaining popularity across the globe as it helps operators to make full utilization of clean energy production. A major drawback of renewable projects is their disability to produce electricity 24x7 compared with fossil fuel-based generation plants. However, development of large battery storage projects is helping to overcome this shortcoming of renewable projects.

These big battery storage units allow utilities to store excess electricity produced during the peak hours and use the same to meet the demand of customers when there is no production from the renewable projects due to natural causes.

The declining cost of the battery pack is also boosting the installation of battery storage projects across the United States, which is increasing the reliability of operation of the renewable power plants and providing additional flexibility to the grid. NextEra Energy Resources, which is also benefiting from the declining cost of batteries, is making plans to install battery units for supporting its alternate energy production goal.

NextEra’s Long-Term Plans

NextEra has well-chalked plans to invest in the range of $50-$55 billion in different projects that are extended from the last year through 2022. These investments will assist the company to produce more electricity from clean sources and lower carbon emissions from the production process. These initiatives will also help it achieve the plan of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions rate to 67% by 2025 from a 2005 base.

NextEra Energy Resources continues to work for making a long-term investment in clean energy assets. In line with this strategy, the company announced plans to add nearly 11,500-18,500 MW of alternate power generation assets across the United States over the 2019-2022 time frame. During the second quarter, it added 1,730 MW of renewable projects to its backlog, which includes 844 MW of solar, 178 MW of battery storage and 708 MW of wind projects. NextEra Energy Resources' current backlog totals nearly 14,400 MW.

Usage of Alternate Energy is Rising

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts electricity generation from renewable energy sources to rise from 17% in 2019 to 20% and 22% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. This increase can be attributed to additions to wind and solar generating capacity. More and more utilities are setting a target to move away from fossil fuel plants, and generate greater electricity from renewable sources as well as natural gas.

Utilities like Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) , Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) and DTE Energy (DTE - Free Report) , among others, have decided to gradually lower emissions from their production portfolio. These companies have targeted to achieve net-zero emissions within 2050 from 2005 levels.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

NextEra has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

In the year-to-date period, its shares have gained 15.3% against the industry’s 14.5% decline.

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