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NextEra (NEE) Unit to Add 8 Solar Plants with 600MW Capacity


NextEra Energy's NEE affiliate Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) recently announced the expansion of one of the largest solar expansion projects in the eastern U.S.

This project further solidifies FPL’s forecast that solar will outpace coal and oil combined as a percentage of the company's energy mix by the year 2020.

Project Details

The project includes construction of eight solar power plants, which is a huge milestone in solar expansion in the eastern U.S. The new plants will have a combined production capacity of 600 megawatts (MW) which will include more than 2.5 million solar panels. These panels are expected to go live by early 2018. The power generated from these plants will be equivalent to the average consumption capacity of 120,000 homes.

The project has already provided jobs to approximately 500 people and FPL expects this number to go as high as 1500 during this summer, when the activities at the sites reach their peak.

Going Strong on the Solar Power

FLP holds the ninth rank in the entire nation when it comes to utilization of solar power by harnessing the strength of the sun. In the month of April, the company announced that it plans on adding around 2,100 MW of new solar capacity across the state of Florida in the next seven years. (Read more: NextEra Unit to Generate Cleaner Power at Lower Price)

The aforementioned project of eight solar plants constitutes a part of the 2100 MW target of FPL. What started as a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic facility in Miami in 1984 has been turned into a unit with more than 335 MW of solar generating capacity by FPL throughout the state of Florida.

FPL is the largest electric utility in the state and provides retail and wholesale electricity services to about 4.8 million customer accounts in eastern and southern Florida. It produces 95% of its power from natural gas, nuclear and solar sources.

Price Movement

In the last six months, shares of NextEra Energy have gained 18.7% compared with the Zacks categorized Utility – Electric Power industry’s growth of 7.9%.

The improvement in economic condition coupled with additions to renewable generation assets, is constantly boosting the performance of the company.

Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider

NextEra Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are RWE AG RWEOY, carrying a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy) and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP BIP and Avangrid, Inc. AGR, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

RWE AG's Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up nearly 27.2% to $2.06 per share in the last 90 days. The company’s long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth rate is pegged at 11.20%.

Avangrid, Inc.’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up nearly 0.5% to $2.21 per share in the last 90 days. The company’s long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth rate is pegged at 8.50%.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP's Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 moved up nearly 2.5% to $3.22 per share in the last 90 days. The company’s long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth rate is pegged at 10.00%.

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