Xcel Energy Inc.
) filed a request with Minnesota state regulators for adding 150
megawatts (MW) of solar energy to its generation portfolio by the
end of 2016. By capitalizing on the benefits of large-scale
operations, management plans to keep the costs low for its
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Adding renewable power will allow Xcel Energy to meet the
Renewable Portfolio Standard of Minnesota. The state requires
Xcel Energy to source 31.5% of total generation from renewable
sources by 2020.
Of the total renewables mandate, 24% of energy should be
generated through wind, 1.5% to come from solar energy, another
1% optional from wind or solar and the remaining 5% to be met by
other eligible renewable sources. Xcel Energy will require 300 MW
of solar energy to meet the renewable energy standards.
Xcel Energy's 150 MW solar projects will have an installation
deadline of Dec 31, 2016. This will allow the company to benefit
from the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) effective until
December 31, 2016. This policy encourages investors in solar
construction with multi-year tax incentives and reduces tax
liability for individuals as well as corporates purchasing
qualified solar technologies.
The company plans to fund a portion of this expansion by issuance
of new public offerings and the rest through Xcel's Renewable
Development Fund. Along with this expansion, Xcel Energy has
plans for additional large-scale solar acquisition by 2017 - 2018
for fulfilling Minnesota's renewable standards for solar energy.
Xcel Energy currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other utility
stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank include
Otter Tail Corp.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
American Electric Power Co., Inc.
). While Otter Tail and Public Service Enterprise sport a Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy), American Electric Power has a Zacks Rank #2