October 27, 2010 – Is Exelon Building an Alternative Energy Conglomerate?

Featured Trades: (NUCLEAR POWER), (EXC), (CCJ)


3) Is Exelon Building an Alternative Energy Conglomerate? Exelon (EXC) popped up on my radar a few months ago, when it bought the wind energy business from John Deere (DE) for $900 million. The company plans to cash in on a national trend by states requiring their power companies to obtain fixed minimum amounts of electricity from green, carbon free alternative sources.

California has the most ambitious goal, setting a 33% target by 2020 (click here for ‘The Solar Boom in California’).  Some 28 other states are following suit with lesser thresholds, and more are expected to follow. You would think wind is a bad place to invest on the eve of a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives that could herald the freezing or elimination of all alternative energy government subsidies.

In fact, wind energy is now competitive on a non subsidized basis in many parts of the country. That is what Google (GOOG) obviously thinks, since it recently committed to investing $5 billion in a massive offshore grid meant to harvest power from planned wind energy projects off the East coast.

There is another political angle to this story. Exelon already has a large established business maintaining nuclear power plants. The nation’s 100 facilities are getting long in the tooth, some approaching 60 years old, and are in desperate need for modernization. Exelon already has contracts to upgrade 39 of these.

While the Republicans’ alternative energy credentials leave something to be desired, they are big fans of carbon free nuclear, which I believe will be a crucial part of any long term energy solution. That’s why you find top uranium producer Cameco (CCJ) is my model portfolio, which has soared a stunning 55% since August.

To top it all, (EXC) offers a whopping great 5.1% dividend, which effectively makes it a mid rated corporate bond in this low yield world. If you are looking for a low volatility name to add to your portfolio in this sector, Exelon might me a good one.

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Getting Long in the Tooth

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