Duke Energy
(DUK) recently announced plans to set up its second-largest renewable energy facility near Casper, Wyoming. The 200 megawatt (MW) “Top of the World” project, the company’s fourth wind farm in Wyoming and ninth in the U.S., will generate enough electricity to power approximately 50-60 thousand households annually.

The construction is expected to begin in late 2009 or early 2010, after receiving requisite approvals, and to commence commercial production by end of 2010. Duke signed a 20-year contract with PacifiCorp, which operates as Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming, for selling the entire output and associated renewable energy credits of the plant.

Duke continues to expand its renewable energy portfolio. It has announced four new wind power projects year to date, with a capacity totaling above 360 MW. Presently, Duke has over 500 MW of wind-powered energy facility under operation, which will exceed 700 MW by the end of this year. Additionally, it has nearly 5,000 MW in pipeline.

Duke Energy closed at $15.49 on Monday, trading at 13.6X trailing 12-month EPS versus 11.8X of the peer group. We maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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