Back to top

Image: Shutterstock

Duke Energy (DUK) Increases Hydroelectric Plant Output by 10%

Read MoreHide Full Article

Duke Energy (DUK - Free Report) recently revealed that its subsidiary, Duke Energy Indiana, increased clean energy output by 10% at its Markland Hydroelectric Station. Notably, the production capacity at this renewable energy facility, located near Florence, IN, has been increased by upgrading three hydroelectric turbines, generators and other equipment.

The Markland facility can now generate up to 65 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, depending on the flow of the river, providing power to 52,000 homes.

Consequently, the facility’s annual energy output has increased by 39 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

Such upgrades take Duke Energy one step ahead in reaching its target of net-zero carbon emissions from electric generation by 2050.

Duke Energy’s Clean Energy Initiatives

Since 2005, Duke Energy has decreased sulfur dioxide emissions in Indiana by 96%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 73% and carbon emissions by 42%. During the next 20 years, the company plans to add about 4,525 megawatts of solar power, 400 megawatts of energy storage and 2,800 megawatts of wind energy, in addition to cleaner natural gas generation.

No doubt the latest upgrade of equipment at the Markland facility is part of this renewable energy expansion target set by Duke Energy. 

Utilities’ Adoption of Renewable Energy

To mitigate the deadly effects of climate change, in the United States, utilities are increasingly adopting renewable energy sources to produce electricity. Per the latest forecast made by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generation from renewable energy sources is expected to rise from 20% in 2021 to 23% in 2022 and 24% in 2023, primarily driven by projected additions to the wind and solar energy generating capacity.

Apart from Duke Energy, other utilities have pledged net-zero carbon emissions to achieve a carbon-free environment.

For instance, DTE Energy (DTE - Free Report) remains committed to reducing the carbon emission from electric utility operations by 32% by 2023, 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040 from the 2005 carbon emissions levels. To meet carbon reduction goals in the near term, DTE Electric plans to put in service a natural gas-fueled combined cycle generation facility in 2022.

DTE Energy boasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 6%. DTE came up with a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 8.97%.

Likewise, American Electric Power’s (AEP - Free Report) intermediate goal is an 80% reduction from 2000 CO2 emission levels from its generating facilities by 2030.

The long-term goal is net-zero CO2 emissions from its generating facilities by 2050. Moreover, its 2022-2026 capital investment forecast includes $9.9 billion in a regulated renewables plan.

American Electric boasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 6.2%. AEP came up with a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 2.40%.

Ameren Corporation (AEE - Free Report) targets to expand its renewables portfolio by adding 3,100 megawatts (MWs) of renewable generation by the end of 2030 and total 5,400 MWs of renewable generation by 2040. Apart from investing in renewable projects, Ameren is also closing its coal-fired plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and promote green energy.

Ameren boasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.2%. AEE came up with a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 0.36%.

Price Movement

In a year’s time, shares of Duke Energy have gained 9.9% compared with the industry’s growth of 9.2%.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

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.