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Duke Energy's (DUK) Arm Unveils Its First Wind Project in lowa

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Duke Energy Corporation’s (D(UK - Free Report) commercial brand, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, recently announced the construction of its first renewable energy project, Ledyard Windpower, in Kossuth County, IA. The 207-megawatt (MW) windpower project is expected to provide sufficient energy to power more than 72,450 U.S. homes.
 
This move takes Duke Energy a step closer toward achieving its goal of attaining renewable energy of 47,000 MW by 2050.

Details of the Project

As part of the project, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions will be responsible for the site's long-term maintenance and operations. Meanwhile, Vestas Wind Systems’ (VWDRY - Free Report) 46 Vestas V150 4.5-MW turbines will be installed in the facility.
The project, co-developed by Amshore Renewable Energy, is expected to be completed at the end of 2022.

Benefits of the Project

Notably, lowa has valuable wind resources and is ranked second in generating electricity by harnessing the wind. Currently, lowa holds an installed windpower capacity of nearly 11,660 MW, as stated by the Iowa Environmental Council. Per a Department of Energy (DOE) report, wind poweraccounted for 57% of Iowa’s electricity generation in 2020. This reflects the growing wind energy market in the state of Iowa.
 
Given the wind energy market’s prospects in Iowa, the Ledyard Windpower is in sync with Duke Energy’s strategy of expanding its windpower energy portfolio. Further, Verizon Communications (VZ - Free Report) has signed 15-year virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for 180 MW of the wind energy from this project, which in turn should add value to Duke Energy’s future top-line performance.

Utilities’ Adoption of Renewable Energy

Utilities are rapidly adopting renewable energy sources to produce electricity, with wind and solar energies gaining popularity, in particular. Per an American Clean Power Energy report, the new capacity addition in wind installation recorded year-over-year growth of 10% in the second quarter of 2021 to a total of 2,824 MW.
 
Per the latest short-term energy outlook released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in September 2021, 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity is projected to come online in 2021, while 2022 may record new capacity addition of 16.3 GW. This reflects a solid improvement when compared to 14.7 GW of new wind capacity estimated to have come online in 2020.
 
Such impressive projections reflect ample growth opportunities for Utility companies in the wind energy space.Thus, most utilities have been investing aggressively in wind generation projects.
 
For instance, in April 2021, NextEra Energy Partners (NEP - Free Report) entered into a definite agreement with Brookfield Renewable Partner to acquire four operating wind assets from the latter for $733 million. The four wind assets have a combined capacity of 391 MW.

Price Movement

In a year’s time, shares of Duke Energy have gained 21.7% compared with the industry’s growth of 11.3%.
 

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Zacks Rank

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