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NextEra Closes Kansas Wind Unit Buy

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NextEra Energy Resources LLC, a business arm of utility major NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE - Free Report) , announced the completion of the acquisition of Cimarron I Wind Energy Center from CPV Renewable Energy Company, a subsidiary of Competitive Power Ventures Inc.

The Cimarron wind project will help in fulfilling NextEra Energy’s ambitious 1,500 Megawatt ("MW") U.S. Wind Energy Program that it intends to bring into operation by the end of 2012. The 165 MW Cimarron I facility is situated in the Gray County province of southwest Kansas, stretching for an area of 14,000 acres.

The renewable facility houses 72 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines which help to extract maximum energy for low-to-moderate wind speeds. The entire energy output will be sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority as per a 20-year power purchase contract.

NextEra Energy is fast developing its wind generation business and strengthening its foothold in the Kansas region. It presently operates a 112 MW Gray County Wind Energy Center and a roughly 99 MW Ensign Wind Energy Center that came online in November 2012.

Together, the three projects will provide adequate power services to more than 100,000 Kansas homes. Wind energy as a source of electricity has gained considerable ground in the U.S. commercial and residential markets. Given the current positive vibe for sustainable green energy generation in the country, we believe the Cimarron project will sit well with the company.

NextEra Energy’s total wind portfolio is expected to hit the 10,000 MW mark with the execution of the large-scale renewable program.

However, unplanned outages and the popularity of natural gas, a cheaper energy source, could moderate the growth of renewable energy. NextEra Energy currently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating).

Another Zacks #3 Rank operator in the utility space, Southern Company (SO - Free Report) is also stepping up its renewable business. Its ancillary Southern Power recently collaborated with Turner Renewable Energy for the purchase of a solar installation plant in North Carolina.

For NextEra, the Zacks Consensus Estimates for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 presently stand at 97 cents and $4.51 per share, respectively. NextEra Energy along with its subsidiaries engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy in the United States and Canada.

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