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WEC Energy's (WEC) 190 MW Jayhawk Wind Facility Comes Online

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WEC Energy Group’s (WEC - Free Report) 190-megawatt (MW) Jayhawk Wind Farm, consisting of 70 wind turbines in Bourbon and Crawford counties, KS, recently began commercial operations. The renewable energy generated from this project is being sold under a long-term contract to Meta.

WEC Energy's investment is likely to be $302 million for its 90% ownership interest in the Jayhawk wind project.

WEC’s Clean Energy Goals

With the entire Utility sector rapidly transitioning toward a greener environment, WEC Energy is investing in the cost-effective zero-carbon generation like solar and wind. In the 2022-2026 time frame, it plans to invest $17.7 billion in renewables. It also has plans to spend $3.5 billion on the regulated renewable assets during the 2022-2026 time period and expand its clean power-generation portfolio. The Jayhawk project will thus put WEC a step ahead in achieving the aforementioned targets.  

Apart from expanding its renewable generation portfolio, WEC Energy is focused on replacing itsolder generation facilities with zero-carbon-emitting renewable and natural gas-based generation by 2025. In 2020, WEC reduced carbon emissions by 50% from the 2005 levels and updated its plans to cut carbon emission by 60% within 2025 and 80% by 2030, both from its 2005 baseline, thus aiming tobecome net carbon neutral by 2050.

WEC Energyhas retired 1,800 MW of coal-fired plants since 2018 and aims to remove another 1,600 MW of fossil-fueled generation by 2025, which includes the planned retirements of Oak Creek Power Plant Units 5-8 and the jointly-owned Columbia Units 1-2 within 2023-2024. Along with these near-term retirement plans, WEC intends to cease using coal as an energy source by 2035.

Peer Moves

Other electric utilities also adopting measures to supply clean and reliable energy to their customers include Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) , Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) and Alliant Energy (LNT - Free Report) . All three stocks are planning to provide absolute clean energy by 2050.

DUK aims to reduce carbon emissions between approximately 55% and 75% through 2035 and cut methane emissions to net-zero by 2030 for its natural gas distribution companies. By 2050, renewables are projected to be Duke Energy’s largest energy source, making up more than40% of its generation capacity.

The long-term earnings growth rate and dividend yield for DUK is pegged at 5.3% and 3.9%, respectively. Earnings surprise delivered by Duke Energy in the last four quarters is 2.29%,on average.

Xcel Energy reached 51% carbon reduction in June 2021 compared with the 2005 base-levels. According to XEL’s plan, it will achieve 85% carbon reduction and completely exit the usage of coal by 2030. Overall, XELaims to generate100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The long-term earnings growth rate and dividend yield for XEL is pegged at 6.4% and 2.7%, respectively. Earnings surprise delivered by XEL in the last four quarters is 2.09%, on average.

LNT announced retiring all the existing coal-fired generation units by 2040 to lower emissions from the 2005 levels by 50% and 100% within 2030 and 2050, respectively. In total, Alliant Energy will replace 2 gigawatts of coal-fired generation with clean energy sources over the next few years.

The long-term earnings growth rate for LNT is pegged at 6.1%, while its dividend yield is 2.7%. Earnings surprise delivered by LNT in the last four quarters is 4.41%, on average.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

In the past month, shares of WEC Energy, presently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player, have gained 5.1% outperforming the industry’s rise of 3.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

One Months' Price Performance

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