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Duke Energy (DUK) Expands Battery Energy Storage in Florida

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Duke Energy Corp’s (DUK - Free Report) subsidiary, Duke Energy Florida, announced the successful completion of three battery storage projects in the Gilchrist, Gulf and Highlands counties, thus providing a reliable backup power solution to consumers in Florida and reducing dependence on the grid.

The three projects with the capacity of more than 34 megawatts (MW) are in sync with Duke Energy’s aim to expand in battery storage technology and support consumers during prolonged power outages.

Duke Energy’s Long-Term Goals to Boost Growth

Duke Energy’s long-standing plans include the expansion of its scale of operations and the implementation of modern technologies at the utility’s facilities by investing heavily in infrastructure and expansion projects. To this end, it is imperative to mention that investments in battery storage technology are an integral part of its long-term plan to manage the grid more proficiently and provide energy of the future to its consumers.

The company intends to have six battery sites in operation in Florida boasting a total capacity of 50 MW of energy storage. Additionally, DUK is planning a 3.5 MW solar plus storage microgrid site at Pinellas County's John Hopkins Middle School.

Such aggressive investments are anticipated to aid Duke Energy in the utilization of new technology in enhancing electric services and grid operations for customers, thus providing clean, reliable renewable energy to its consumers. Also, these initiatives are likely to expand Duke Energy’s growth prospects in the booming battery storage market.

Growth Prospects

The energy from renewable sources fails to provide electricity 24x7 due to natural causes, resulting in the development of storage solutions, which ensure the storage of clean energy during excess production. Battery storage supports the usage of energy during periods of shortage and encourages the proper functioning of the grid.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects an installation of an additional 10,000 MW of large-scale battery storage power capacity in the United States between 2021 and 2023. This highlights bright prospects for utility companies like Duke Energy to prosper on the abounding growth opportunity through more such battery storage projects like the latest one.

Utility Moves

Considering the immense growth potential in the battery storage market, major utility companies that have carved out a position in battery solution technology in a bid to balance energy demand are:

In January 2022, Pacific Gas and Electric Company,a unit of PG&E Corporation (PCG - Free Report) ,proposed nine new battery energy storage projects totaling approximately 1,600 MW to further integrate renewable energy resources and improve the reliability of the California electric system. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, these nine projects would bring PG&E’s total battery energy storage system capacity to more than 3,330 MW by 2024.

Pacific Gas PG&E boasts a long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rateof 2.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2022 earnings has been revised upward by 0.9% in the past 60 days. Shares of PCG have returned 10.7% to investors in the past six months.

In December 2021, Consolidated Edison (ED - Free Report) announced that it has proposed a stand-alone battery storage project with the capacity of up to 2,000 MW in Mount Signal area.

The long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rate of Consolidated Edison stands at 2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2023 earnings has been revised upward by 1.3% in the past 60 days. Shares of ED have rallied 28.1% in the past year.

In May 2021,First Energy’s (FE - Free Report) subsidiary, Potomac Edison, proposed two battery energy storage projects, which received regulatory approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission. These projects are likely to be completed in 2022. A 1.75 MW battery energy storage project in Allegany County will provide backup power to more than 1,000 customers in the Allegany and Washington counties during outages.

First Energy boasts a long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rate of 7.3%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for First Energy’s 2022 sales indicates an improvement of 4.6% over 2021’s reported figure. FE shares have rallied 26.1% in the past year.

Price Movement

In the past year, Duke Energy’s shares have rallied 16.1% compared with the industry’s growthof 7.7%.

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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.