Utilities have been busy this week, making moves to maximize profit potential. With wind, hydro, and solar switchups, here's what you need to know to stay on top of your dividend stocks' latest moves.
With solar prices increasingly competitive, utilities are teaming up to scale up. Sempra Energy and Consolidated Edison announced this week that they've completed a 300 MW joint venture.
The two utilities will split two Nevada and Arizona facilities 50/50, allowing each company smoother balance sheets, better diversity, and renewable-energy credits to boot. As with most solar projects, the two utilities have already lined up a buyer: Pacific Gas & Electric will purchase all power from the two farms for the next 25 years.
Utilities are also taking bigger bets on wind. Duke Energy announced that it will build two Texas wind farms to push 400 MW of power into Austin Energy's grid for 25 years. Duke and Austin are already bosom buddies, with 202 MW of Duke's wind portfolio already whipping its way through Austin.
With this latest contract, Duke's total wind capacity will top 2,000 MW, a not-insignificant chunk of its 57,700 MW of its total generation.
Heading out of hydro
Not all renewables are rocking this week. PPL announced that its Montana subsidiary is selling all its hydro assets to Northwestern Energy for $900 million in cold, hard cash. PPL will bid farewell to 11 hydropower plants in total but will hang on to coal-fired Colstrip and J.E. Corette plants.
But PPL isn't alone in exiting hydro, and this latest move presents "an opportunity to secure attractive shareowner value," according to PPL Chairman, President, and CEO William Spence.
Go for the green
You don't have to be green to know green, and Spectra Energy is taking a knowledge-based approach to confronting climate change. The utility was recognized this week as the only energy company to snag a spot on the Climate Disclosure Project's S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index.
Rather than rate companies on their environmental standards, the Climate Disclosure Project, or CDP, congratulates corporations on their climate change awareness. Unlike other energy companies, Spectra has demonstrated its openness and understanding of climate change, as reflected in its submission to CDP's questionnaire.
The utility also earned a spot on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North American and the world for the sixth and fourth straight year, respectively.
Knowledge is power, and Spectra's awareness, while no win in and of itself, is a better start to strategic thinking on climate change than most other corporations can claim.
Stay current on electricity
Renewables are rocking the once-steady energy sector, and dividend stocks aren't the stable stalwarts they once were. Be sure to check back weekly for the latest on your portfolio's moves, and you'll be well on your way to electrifying earnings.
The future of energy
There are many different ways to play the energy sector, and The Motley Fool's analysts have uncovered an under-the-radar company that's dominating its industry. This company is a leading provider of equipment and components used in energy operations, and poised to profit in a big way from it. To get the name and detailed analysis of this company that will prosper for years to come, check out the special free report: "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need." Don't miss out on this limited-time offer and your opportunity to discover this under-the-radar company before the market does. Click here to access your report -- it's totally free.
The article 3 Dividend Stocks Ramping Up Renewables originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned, but he does use electricity. You can follow him on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.The Motley Fool recommends Spectra Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.