NextEra Aims to Buy More U.S. Power Lines to Fuel Renewable Push

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NextEra Energy Inc. wants to buy more power lines to tap into rising demand for renewable energy, weeks after closing a $660-million deal for such transmission wires.

“We are very excited about opportunities in transmission,” Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Kujawa said Wednesday in an earnings call after the world’s biggest wind and solar energy provider reported first-quarter results.

She expects NextEra would expand its business both by developing and acquiring transmission assets. The Florida-based company last month bought GridLiance, which owns about 700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, for about $660 million from Blackstone Group Inc.

Executives said in the call that they’re encouraged by U.S. President Joe Biden’s focus on renewables, with NextEra backing a clean energy standard that accelerates a push away from fossil fuels for the U.S. electrical grid. The firm plans to add up to 30,000 megawatts of wind, solar and battery storage by 2024, according to a presentation.

Biden is aiming to fully green U.S. power grids by 2035 -- a lofty goal that’ll require building billions of dollars worth of new transmission lines. By one estimate, the country will need to expand its transmission grids by as much as 60% for wind and solar to make up half of U.S. electricity capacity by 2030.

“The thing about the green economy is that it’s cleaner, it’s greener, but it’s also cheaper, and that is why it’s so powerful,” Chief Executive Officer James Robo said on the call.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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