Which Utilities are Investing in Utility Scale Solar?

PUBLISHED Dec 9, 2022, 9:40:51 PM        SHARE

imgStaff Writer

Large Scale Solar Power

Major Utilities have integrated solar energy into their power generation portfolio. The largest power generating utilities in the U.S. have significant amounts of power coming from solar array farms across the country.
Nearly every major utility company plans to grow their position in renewable energy for the next decade, and solar energy is a major part of each plan. solar energy has become a viable power source thanks to favorable government incentives, cheaper installation, and improved energy storage.

“Energy storage is actually the true bridge to a clean-energy future” – Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association

Energy storage allows electricity to be used “smoothly” by customers by holding electrical energy while demand is low. This smoothing allows solar panels to accumulate energy during the day while customers use the energy at night when solar energy cannot be harvested. The U.S Energy Information Administration found that the cost to store a unit of energy (a kilowatt-hour) fell 70% from 2015 to 2018.

Utility-scale battery storage costs decreased nearly 70% between 2015 and 2018

Source: eia.gov

Utility-scale solar farms have been adopted by the utility industry and will likely continue to grow in the foreseeable future. While most utilities have focused on solar farms, other utilities like NRG Energy is looking to build solar arrays for individual customers and organizations. Both business models look to be viable and will have the overall effect of pushing innovation in the solar power generation.

What is the Best Solar Stock to Invest in?

By far, the best stock to get exposure to utility-scale solar power generation and invest in a company that provides a strong investment opportunity is NextEra Energy. When it comes to solar power, NextEra Energy sits in its own tier. NextEra Energy has 56,581 MW of power generation capacity. Of that capacity, 11.59% consists of solar power.

NextEra Energy Power Capacity by source

NextEra Energy power capacity by source. Fossil fuels includes oil, gas, and coal. See their excel sheet for 2022 for more information. This can be found in their ESG Resources Page

NextEra Energy is likely the top power generation public utility in the U.S. based on the mega-watts of power generation capacity it has. And its incredible that a company this large is dedicated to incorporating renewable energy heavily into its power generation portfolio. The company’s growth in solar makes sense. The company is primarily located in Florida, which gets more sunlight than other parts of the U.S. This makes solar farms more viable in their region. NextEra Energy is also committed to zero carbon emissions by 2045, making solar a vital part of their core values.

NextEra Energy YoY growth of energy sources

NextEra Energy year over year growth of their energy sources

NextEra Energy isn’t just a great solar farm investment. NextEra Energy is a proven strong investment for income investors and retail investors.

What Companies Invest in Solar Energy?

Besides NextEra Energy, the other utilities that significantly invest in solar energy are Dominion Energy (D), The Southern Company (SRE), and Exelon (EXC). Dominion Energy has a healthy 8.15% of its power generation capacity in solar power, with The Southern Company coming up next at 5.44% and Exelon at 4.63%. These four public utilities are the major utilities that are making serious investments in solar farms.

Company Total Capacity (MW) Solar Capacity (%)
Dominion Energy (D) 27,000 8.15%
The Southern Company (SO) 44,000 5.44%
Exelon (EXC) 33,300 4.63%

Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy, Inc runs multiple solar energy services in five states. They are also looking to expand in Virginia, with 16,100 MW planned to go online by 2035.

Dominion Energy solar farm

Dominion Energy Solar Farm

Dominion Energy has a total capacity of 27.1 GW as of 2019. Dominion Energy has installed 2,200 megawatts (MW) of solar into operation in 10 states. That is enough energy to power about 550,000 homes at peak output.

Southern Company

The Southern Company Solar Power

Southern Power currently owns or operates more than 2,395 megawatts of solar generating capacity at 28 facilities operating in California, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas. Twenty-six of these facilities are co-owned by third parties, with Southern Power having the majority ownership. Southern Company Total Generating Capacity is 44,000 MW

Which is the Best Stock to Invest in Solar Energy for the Long Term?

NextEra Energy has both the proven track record and the documented commitment to continue building out utility-scale solar farms over the next decade. NextEra has committed to build 28,000 to 37,000 Megawatts of capacity thru 2025. That growth is roughly 50% of the capacity the company currently holds. This unprecedented growth matches their proven growth they’ve already accomplished since 2018.

Dominion Energy is also looking to expand their solar power. Dominion is in the works of building a 1,000 MW utility-scale solar project in Virginia. This project alone will nearly double their solar capacity. The company estimates they will invest $20 Billion into solar development through 2035.

Which Public Utilities are not Investing in Solar Power?

Company Total Capacity (MW) Solar Capacity (%)
American Electric Power Inc (AEP) 26,000 0.45%
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) 50,000 1.00%
Entergy (ETR) 24,000 2.14%
Entergy Total Capacity and solar capacity


AEP renewables has 3 utility scale solar sites in California, Nevada, and Utah. The sites together create 116 MW of energy. AEP generates about 26,000 MW of energy in the United States. Solar makes up 0.446% of AEPs generation capacity.

AEP has a bigger portfolio of wind energy, with 1,260 MW of capacity, which is roughly 4.85% of their total portfolio. Renewables are planned to become ~50% of their total capacity by 2030

Duke Energy

Over 500 MW of solar capacity of its 2800 MW of renewable energy generation. Duke Energy’s total capacity is 50,000 MW. Similar to AEP, Duke Energy has a larger focus on wind energy in their renewables portfolio. The company has 2,300 MW of wind power capacity, which amounts to 4.6% of their total energy generation portfolio.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a really strong company to invest in that is committed to solar energy, start researching NextEra Energy. Solar and wind power has credibly grown in the last 10 years. Based on the plans of the top public utilities, this trend will accelerate during this decade.

Sound investments
don't happen alone

Find your crew, build teams, compete in VS MODE, and identify investment trends in our evergrowing investment ecosystem. You aren't on an island anymore, and our community is here to help you make informed decisions in a complex world.

More Reads
Taking the First Steps (Toward Becoming a Successful Investor) Part 1

Part 1 of 4 in the 3 Pillars of Success (Discovering YOU)

At The Previous High

Stock Market Commentary

Hershey (HSY): Dividend Stock Review

Hershey (HSY): Dividend Stock Review. As a dividend growth Investor, the best companies to invest in are quality companies with a history of growing revenues and cash flow to enable them to increase their dividends over time.

Target: Avoid This Stock or Buy This Stock on Sale This Cyber Monday?

Target is off to a rough 2022. The stock price is down 30% year to date and was crushed after its latest earnings release. Target is a Dividend King that has gone through rough stretches before.

Monthly Dividend Stock In Focus: Orchid Island Capital

Investors are likely familiar with the standard Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs. Most REITs own physical real estate, lease the properties to tenants, and derive rental income which is used to pay dividends.

10 Top Electric Utility Stocks For Reliable Dividends

Utilities are often a favorite of dividend growth investors as they can provide excellent returns and high-income levels.

How to Read a Utilities Earnings Bridge Chart

Find out how to read a Utilities Earnings Bridge Chart

What is the Difference Between Energy and Utility Stocks?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between Energy and Utility Stocks are? Find out here.

The Best Utility ETFs for Income Investors

We breakdown the pros and cons of the most popular utility ETFs and rank them by the best ETF for income investors.

Why Do Utilities Have a High Debt-to-Equity Ratio?

Businesses in utilities are among the companies with the highest debt-to-equity ratio. High debt-risk figures are often safe...

Roth IRA Frequently Asked Questions

A Roth IRA is a type of retirement vehicle allowed by the IRS that defers taxes on investment earnings into the future. An IRA stands for “individual retirement arrangement” and with a Roth IRA, the goal is to get an improved tax advantage for your retirement investments.

OUR (UPDATED) JOINT BUDGET! // How Inflation has Impacted our Budget

In this post, we're taking another look at our budget. Inflation has been all the buzz in these past few months of 2022. We've been hearing about record inflation reaching 40-year highs.

Modern Financial Slavery – Building Wealth to Break the Cycle

Slavery is an unfortunate part of our history, dating back to the first civilization of Sumer in Mesopotamia, 6800 BC. People were enslaved for numerous reasons including debt, birth into a slave family, child abandonment, war, or as a punishment for crime.

What is the Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance?

Purchasing life insurance can be pretty confusing, especially when you’ve received controversial information about Term and Whole Life Insurance. The question still exists: What is the difference between Term and Whole Life Insurance, and how do I choose between them?

Historical Returns of a 50/50 Portfolio (or 70/30 or 30/70)

If you are retiring soon, you might wonder: how conservatively should I invest? What asset allocation should you have given sequence of return risk? First, let’s look at a 50/50 portfolio’s historical returns. That’s a good place to start when talking about conservative investing in retirement.

Inflation (Part 47)

I was kindly invited to join a Citywire Roundtable recently. The idea for the discussion had been sparked by global chief investment strategist of BlackRock’s Investment Institute, Wei Li proposing a replacement for the 60/40 portfolio, as reported in the article 60/40 or 30/30/30? BlackRock forecasts renewed focus on asset allocation mix (someone's maths looks a tad dubious). However, it was essentially a debate about asset allocation in general

5 Side Hustles That Thrive During a Recession

Side hustles can provide a much-needed financial buffer during tough economic times. And while some businesses may suffer during a recession, others can thrive. If you’re thinking of starting a side hustle, here are a few ideas to consider.

Is the Housing Boom Over?

For the last two years, the housing market has been booming. But after going on a tear, there are signs that changes are ahead. Many hopeful people are wondering, is the housing market finally cooling off?

Why do Solopreneurs Need a Bookkeeper?

So, you’re a solopreneur out to start and grow your own business. You feel that you don’t need anyone’s help to get started, but today we’re going to talk about one resource a smart solopreneur will always seek out: a bookkeeper.

The Debt Payoff Playbook For Beginners

Paying off debt and building a future you can live off of is the primary focus of this blog. We are not talking about merely surviving in our golden years, but actually thriving! Unfortunately, the world is not geared towards helping you thrive in retirement.

Resources for Publishers
Resources for New Investors
Boosted with BossCoin