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Dominion Energy (D) Acquires Solar Project From First Solar

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Dominion Energy (D - Free Report) has acquired a solar-generating project — Seabrook Solar — from First Solar (FSLR - Free Report) .  The 72-megawatt (MW) solar facility is expected to enter service later this year and offer renewable power to Dominion Energy South Carolina under a pre-existing power purchase agreement.

The construction on the solar facility has already started on about 630 acres of land in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The facility will be one of the largest solar line-up in the Palmetto State.

Expansion via Acquisitions

Dominion Energy makes consistent acquisitions to expand its generation portfolio. Earlier, the company’s unit Dominion Generation acquired two solar-generating projects from Savion LLC — a subsidiary of Macquarie's Green Investment Group. These units, which will have a combined clean power generation capacity of 95 MW, are expected to be operational from 2020.

Dominion Energy has plans to incorporate nearly 5,000 MW of renewable projects by 2028. The latest acquisitions will enable the company to achieve its target.

Utilities’ Focus on Emission Reduction

Dominion Energy aims to reduce carbon emission in its power generation by 55% in 2030 and by 80% in 2050 from 2005 levels. The company is working on offshore wind, battery storage and hydropower projects to lower emission.

There are some other utility companies that are consistently undertaking efforts to reduce carbon footprint such as NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) and Xcel Energy (XEL - Free Report) .

NextEra Energy announced plans to add nearly 11,500-18,500 MW of alternate power generation assets across the United States during 2019-2022 as part of its clean energy strategy. Through Florida Power & Light Company, the company aims to install more than 30-million solar panels in Florida by 2030 as part of 30-by-30 plan. This will enable the company to achieve its target to lower carbon dioxide emission rate by 67% by 2025 from 2005 level.

Xcel Energy is lowering the usage of coal in electricity generation and replacing it with renewable sources. Being the first utility in the United States, the company announced its target of 80% carbon reduction by 2030 from 2005 level. Xcel Energy expects to deliver 100% carbon-free energy in the long run.

Moreover, other utility companies are striving to reduce emission and utilizing more renewable and clean energy sources like solar, wind, hydro-power or geo-thermal for electricity generation. They are also undertaking technology development and lowering production costs to achieve the same.

EIA on CO2 Emissions

Per US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, US energy-related CO2 emissions will decline 2.3% in 2019 and 0.5% in 2020 after an increase of 2.7% in 2018.

EIA predicts that U.S. electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants will rise to 37% in 2019 from 34% in 2018. Coal usage is assumed to fall 24% in 2019 and 2020 from 28% in 2018. EIA reports that renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower will together produce 17% of U.S. electricity in 2019 and 19% in 2020.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Dominion Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Dominion Energy have returned 9.1% in the past three months compared with the industry’s rise of 5.1%.



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