Duke Energy Corporation
) announced the completion of its largest-ever windpower
construction projects - Los Vientos I and II - in south Texas,
adding 402 megawatts (MW) to the company's renewables fleet.
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All of the output and associated renewable energy credits from
the 200 MW Los Vientos I Windpower Project in Willacy County are
being sold to San Antonio-based CPS Energy under a 25-year
agreement. CPS Energy is the nation's largest municipally owned
natural gas and electric utility, providing service to
approximately 728,000 electric and 328,000 natural gas customers
in the Greater San Antonio area.
Similarly, Austin Energy is buying all of the output and
associated renewable energy credits from the 202 MW Los Vientos
II Windpower Project, located in Willacy and Cameron Counties.
Austin Energy is a community-owned electric utility with more
than 420,000 customers and operating revenues of $1.2 billion.
Austin Energy has a diverse generation portfolio of nearly 3,000
megawatts consisting of natural gas, nuclear, coal and renewable
Duke Energy also has three other windpower projects in Texas:
Sweetwater in Nolan County; Ocotillo in Howard County; and
Notrees in Ector and Winkler Counties. Since 2007, the company
has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind
and solar business, Duke Energy Renewables.
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial
Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar
energy generation projects for customers throughout the United
States. The company's growing portfolio of commercial renewable
assets includes 15 wind farms and 14 solar farms in operation in
nine states, totaling more than 1,700 megawatts in
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy is a diversified
energy company with more than $100 billion in total assets. Its
regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.1 million
electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and
Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments
own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America
and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable
energy assets in the U.S.
Earlier, the acquisition of Progress Energy in July 2012 made
Duke Energy the largest U.S. utility in terms of market
capitalization. Prior to that, Chicago-based
) was the largest U.S. utility.
Duke Energy Corporation's U.S. electricity and gas operations
generate a relatively stable and growing earnings stream. Looking
ahead, the company's outlook is supported by its strong balance
sheet and ongoing capital expansion projects which add visibility
to the story.
However, valuation continues to be restrained by a number of
factors, including the present unfavorable macro backdrop,
predominantly fossil-fuel based generation assets, tepid demand
for electricity, foreign currency exchange volatility, pending
regulatory cases and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
New Jersey, where Duke Energy has about 65% of its customers, was
hit hardest by Sandy. Other hard-hit states include Connecticut,
West Virginia, New York and Rhode Island. The biggest utilities
in the path of the storm include units of Exelon Corporation,
Consolidated Edison Inc.
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
Duke Energy presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold)
that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the