(DUK) Duke’s Wind Power Power’s Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy Corporation (DUK), will build and operate a new Laurel Hill Windpower Project in Lycoming County, north-central Pennsylvania. Under a 25-year agreement, it will sell the electricity generated from it to Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC).

The company already owns and operates the 70-MW North Allegheny Wind power Project in Blair and Cambria counties, Pennsylvania, which was acquired from Gamesa Energy USA in May 2009.

Pennsylvania’s second new 69-megawatt (MW) Laurel Hill Windpower Project comprises 30 Siemens wind turbines, each capable of generating 2.3 MW. Laurel Hill is capable enough to generate electricity that will power more than 20,000 homes.

In August 2011, Duke Energy Renewables had begun construction of the Laurel Hill Project and is expected to start commercial operation by September 2012.

Earlier in 2011, Duke Energy Renewables had also announced plans to build the 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project in Ford County, Kansas, the 131-MW Cimarron II Windpower Project in Gray County, Kansas, and the 200-MW Los Vientos I Windpower Project in Willacy County, Texas. Recently, in August, the company also completed the purchase of the 20-MW Shirley Windpower Project in Glenmore, Wisconsin.

Based in Smyrna, Delaware DEMEC provides competitive, reliable energy supply and services to its nine municipal electric distribution utilities at the lowest possible cost. Apart from the agreement with the Laurel Hill Windpower Project, it has also entered into agreements for wind power from the proposed BlueWater Wind Project as well as the 10 MW Dover Delaware Sun Park Project.

NRG Energy’s (NRG) Bluewater Wind LLC is one of the nation’s leading developers of offshore wind energy projects, and a tireless advocate of wind as a clean, safe, and stable-priced means to meet energy needs. The 10 MW Dover Delaware Sun Park Project is designed and built by SunPower Corporation (SPWRA). Recently in August, it started delivering solar power to the local utility distribution grid.

Duke Energy Corporation’s U.S.electricity and gas operations generate a relatively stable and growing earnings stream. Looking ahead, our bullish outlook for the company is supported by its ongoing merger proceedings with Progress Energy Inc. (PGN) paving the way for the largest U.S. utility. In addition, its strong balance sheet, and ongoing capital expansion projects 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 and pending regulatory cases. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of domestic and international, natural gas and electric, regulated and unregulated businesses, which supply, deliver, and process energy for customers in North America and selected international markets.

DUKE ENERGY CP (DUK): Free Stock Analysis Report

NRG ENERGY INC (NRG): Free Stock Analysis Report

PROGRESS ENERGY (PGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

SUNPOWER CORP-A (SPWRA): Free Stock Analysis Report

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