Natural Gas, Wind, and Solar Make Moves Worldwide

Utilities have been busy this week, making moves to maximize profit potential. With new solar, wind, and natural gas projects in the pipeline, here's what you need to know to stay on top of your dividend stocks' latest moves.

Dominion Resources' New Digs

Source: Dominion Resources,; Cove Point LNG Facility, owned by subsidiary Dominion Midstream.

Dominion Resources (NYSE: D  ) pulled a double-whammy this week, wooing both natural gas and solar investors. On the natural gas front, the company filed a registration statement for Dominion Midstream Partners. If successful, this limited partnership will allow its Cove Point LNG facility to pull profit tax-free, a major boost to its LNG exports earnings potential. If approved, Dominion Midstream will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "DM," starting off with a $400 million IPO.

But Dominion Resources isn't only going after gas. The company also announced this week that it has bought six California solar farms from privately held Recurrent Energy. With 139 MW of estimated output, this purchase more than triples the company's current 41 MW solar capacity.

"This investment is another important step forward for Dominion as we expand our renewable energy portfolio," said Dominion Resources Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Farrell II in a statement. "These projects fit well within our portfolio of regulated and long-term contracted assets." Dominion Resources, expects the facilities to come online by early 2015. 

Wind power heads east

Source: General Electric. 

Renewable energy is often seen as a first-world problem and/or opportunity -- General Electric Company (NYSE: GE  ) wants to change that. The company introduced a "first for India" 1.7 MW wind turbine Friday, specifically designed for the South Asian nation's low-wind conditions.

"The launch of our new 1.7-103 wind turbine is a testament to GE's commitment to energizing India and catering to India's low wind speed environment. Our latest offering underscores the company's effort to provide localized solutions to India," said Banmali Agrawala, president and CEO of GE South Asia, in the press release.

General Electric Company has been a longtime turbine provider for other countries, and recently allocated billions more to wind energy research. With India's current heavy reliance on coal for power generation, wind energy could potentially provide a much cleaner alternative, and products like General Electric Company's new turbine make that transition more feasible than ever before.

In the pipeline

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK  ) is eyeing a natural gas investment of its own. The utility announced Tuesday that it is filing a request to jointly build North Carolina's second major natural gas pipeline with Piedmont Natural Gas Company (NYSE: PNY  ) .

According to Duke Energy Corporation, Carolinians need more natural gas. The corporation itself has replaced dirty coal power plants with relatively cleaner natural gas facilities. Since 2011, Duke Energy Corporation has brought online five new gas-powered generation plants.

At the same time, North Carolina residents are increasingly looking to get gas at their homes. Gas can be a cheaper heating alternative than oil or electricity, and Piedmont Natural Gas Company wants more supply to meet consumer demand.

If the 900 million cubic feet per day pipeline is approved, Duke Energy Corporation expects to get it up and running by 2018.

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