Duke Energy (DUK) Begins Operation of Battery Storage Project
Duke Energy Corp. DUK recently announced the commencement of operations at its battery storage project in Onslow County, NC. The project, which boasts a capacity of 11 megawatts (MW), is claimed to be the largest storage facility in the state.
Currently, the battery storage facility will be paired with the 13 MW solar facility and will ensure the reliable operation of the solar facility. The integration of the two projects will contribute toward the Duke Energy substation and serve all Duke Energy Progress customers.
The 11 MW project entails Duke Energy’s efforts to scale its operations across the various facets of the solar landscape and capitalize on the growing demand for a reliable and sustainable source of energy.
Duke Energy’s Prospects in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of the most lucrative markets in the United States for solar expansion. The state ranked fourth in 2022 in terms of the total installed solar capacity. The state has installed 8,179 MW of total solar capacity to date, out of which 294 MW was installed in 2022.
The state boasts a total investment of $11.1 billion in solar capacity addition, of which $543 million was invested in 2022. Going forward, with the implementation of the strong investment strategy, the state is likely to add 1,786 MW of additional solar capacity in the next five years.
The increased penetration of the solar market exemplifies the increased scope for battery storage projects to gain traction and provide immense opportunities for utilities like Duke Energy to multiply their projects in the region.
Duke Energy already enjoys an established position in the battery storage market of North Carolina, with a 9 MW battery storage project in Asheville and a 4 MW lithium-ion battery system in Hot Springs. The recent addition of the project strengthens its portfolio of battery storage projects in the region.
Utilities’ Focus on Battery Storage Projects
Utilities in the United States are gradually gaining strength from renewable sources of energy, with an increased focus on solar and battery storage projects. Moreover, the recent enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act in support of solar development has fueled the expansion of solar projects in the nation.
Per the recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, battery capacity in the United States is likely to double in 2023, with a planned capacity addition of nearly 9.4 gigawatts of battery storage. This represents the immense potential for battery storage project infrastructure expansion for utilities.
In this context, apart from Duke Energy, utilities that have forayed into the battery storage projects of the United States are as follows:
In December 2022, First Energy Corp.’s FE subsidiary, Potomac Edison, completed a battery energy storage project paired with two new electric vehicle fast-charging stations and one Level 2 charging station in Frederick County.
First Energy’s long-term earnings growth rate is 6.5%. Shares of FE have delivered 5.2% to its investors in the past six months.
In January 2023, Alliant Energy LNT filed a plan with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to construct a 99 MW battery project adjacent to its Edgewater Generating Station in Sheboygan, WI.
The long-term earnings growth rate of Entergy is 6%. LNT shares have increased 2.9% in the past six months.
NextEra Energy NEE has more energy storage capacity than any other company in the United States. It currently has more than 180 MW of battery energy storage systems in operation.
NextEra boasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 9%. NEE shares have delivered 9.6% in the past month.
In the past month, Duke Energy’s shares have increased 4.7% compared with the industry’s growth of 5.7%.
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Duke Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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