February 1, 2018 Read More →

In U.S. Utility NextEra, a Template for Electricity-Generation Transition

Renew Economy:

The best-performing electricity utility in the USA is also the world’s biggest installer of renewables.

NextEra Energy Inc. is a major American electricity generator with 47 GW of capacity and is focused on providing long-term shareholder value through investment in clean energy.

The company likes to highlight that it is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

In its recently released fourth-quarter and full-year financial results NextEra announced it commissioned a record 2.15 GW of renewables in 2017, including 1.6 GW from repowering existing projects. 2.15 GW is probably the highest renewable energy install by any company ever in a single year.

Furthermore, NextEra plans to double this rate of install in the next few years, targeting 3-4 GW per annum of new renewables installs over the 2017-2020 period (10.1-16.5 GW in total). 2.7 GW of new projects and 0.7 GW of repowering projects were added to the company’s development backlog during the year.

NextEra did all this whilst increasing net income and earnings per share compared to the prior year and continuing to maintain a strong balance sheet. NextEra’s share price continues to outperform the market.

The company’s chief executive, Jim Robo, is unsurprisingly enthusiastic about the future of renewables. In a conference call covering the fourth-quarter results Robo predicted that it will be cheaper to install new renewables than to continue operating existing coal and nuclear plants by the early 2020s.

NextEra was one of two transition champions featured in IEEFA’s recent ‘Global Utilities in Transition’ report alongside Enel of Italy.

The report which presented case studies of 11 major electricity utilities around the world also presented a number of companies such as AGL of Australia and Engie of France which have now begun a belated transition away from coal.

More: NextEra: World’s leading renewables installer powers on

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