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Duke Energy's Subsidiary Buys 9 Solar Projects in Georgia

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Duke Energy Corp.’s DUK subsidiary, Duke Energy Renewables, recently acquired a portfolio of nine solar projects in the state of Georgia. The project comes under the Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI) of Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Company SO.

Details of the Deal

With the portfolio having total power generating capacity of 20 megawatt-alternating current (MWac), distributed solar projects of Duke Energy Renewables comes to 47.4 MWac in Georgia.

The projects have been jointly built by Duke Energy Renewables' distributed generation arm, REC Solar, a leading European brand of solar panels provider and Inman Solar, which specializes in solar installations. The electricity generated from these solar farms, under a 30- or 35-year power purchase agreement, will be sold to Georgia Power as part of its REDI Distributed Generation RFP program.

Georgia Power and Duke Energy

Duke Energy’s partnership with Georgia Power dates back to 2016, when Duke Energy Renewables purchased six solar projects with a total capacity of 4.7 MW and agreed to sell the electricity to Georgia Power. In August 2019, Duke Energy Renewables, in collaboration with SolAmerica Energy, developed nine solar projects in Central Georgia. These renewable assets were added in accordance with Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative.

With Georgia Power offering electric service to customers in 155 of the state’s 159 counties, the latest project acquisition by Duke Energy seems to be a strategic decision by this utility to boost its presence in the expanding solar market of Georgia.

What’s in View?

With the whole world inclining toward renewables, the state of Georgia is taking strategic initiatives to promote solar power. Per the latest report of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the state ranked 10th in the nation in terms of solar power production in the third quarter of 2019. A total investment of $2.3 billion has been made to promote solar power generation in the state.

Looking ahead, solar projects worth 1.623 MW are expected to be installed over the next five years in Georgia. Such growth projections must have encouraged utility providers like Duke Energy, which boasts extensive plans to add more renewable assets to its generation portfolio.

Price Performance

Shares of Duke Energy have gained 12.7% compared with the industry’s 24.8% rally in the past 12 months.

Zacks Rank

Duke Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the same space are Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ED - Free Report) and Edison International EIX, both of which hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here..

Consolidated Edison long-term growth estimate currently stands at 2%. The company’s 2020 earnings estimate indicates year-over-year growth of 5%.

Edison International’s long-term growth estimate currently stands at 5.3%. The company delivered average positive earnings surprise of 0.09% in the last four quarters

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