Solar energy stocks have been blistering hot this year. The Invesco Solar ETF, an exchange-traded fund that holds more than 20 solar-focused companies, has surged more than 50%, doubling the return of the S&P 500. As a result, these renewable energy stocks aren’t quite as attractive as they were to start the year.
However, solar is still in the early innings of its growth, with many in the industry expecting that development will accelerate over the next several years. Thus, solar-focused companies still appear to have lots of upside ahead. Three of the most attractive ones to buy right now are utility Con Edison (NYSE:ED), solar panel maker First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), and renewable yieldco NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE:NEP)
Quietly becoming a leader in the solar sector
New York City-focused utility Con Edison usually isn’t the first name that investors think of when they’re looking for a solar energy stock. However, the company’s clean energy business currently owns the second-largest portfolio of solar energy assets among its peer group at 2.2 gigawatts (GW). Though most of that capacity is in other states, with it mainly selling the power these facilities produce to other utilities.
The company’s exposure to solar should continue growing over the next few years. That’s because it expects to invest $1 billion on new clean energy projects through 2021. Meanwhile, it plans to play a key role in helping New York State reach its ambitious target to get 100% of its power from carbon-free sources by 2040.
Read more: 3 Top Solar Stocks to Buy Right Now