NextEra Energy boasts increased renewable project pipeline as US hits 1M solar installations - Smart Energy Decisions

Utilities, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  April 29, 2016

NextEra Energy boasts increased renewable project pipeline as US passes 1M solar installs

With momentum toward renewable energy sources in full swing, NextEra Energy Inc. on April 28 became the latest utility holding company to increase its near-term expectations for new projects. 

The Florida-based company announced on its first-quarter 2016 earnings call that it will outpace its previous expectations for its contracted renewable development pipeline this year at NextEra Energy Resources, its competitive generation subsidiary. NextEra now expects its total 2015 to 2016 renewables development program will top 4,000 MW, about 500 MW higher than forecast. 

"We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,"  Executive Vice President and CFO John Ketchum said on the call. 

The announcement follows news from two other major players in the U.S. utility space in regard to significant growth opportunities in renewables, Duke Energy and Southern Co. , and coincides with the milestone that U.S. solar industry has passed its millionth installation. 

The Smart Electric Power Alliance, or SEPA, formerly known as the Solar Electric Power Alliance, acknowledged the role of utilities in the transition in an April 28 blog post, and also urged them to use the Million Solar Strong campaign — a series of events and social media efforts to recognize the milestone being organized by SEPA, the Solar Energy Industries Association and GRID Alternatives — to create their own positive messaging. 

"While sometimes publicly labeled as anti-solar, utilities have been and will continue to be unacknowledged catalysts in the transition to renewables," SEPA director of communications K Kaufmann wrote. "Every single one of those first million solar installations has been connected to the grid by a local utility. Utilities are also taking a leading role in testing the new technologies that will provide the customer and grid solutions to take us to the next million solar installations and beyond." 

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