NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) has signed an agreement with eSolar, a leading provider of modular, scalable solar thermal power technology to develop solar power plants with a total generation capacity of up to 500 megawatts (MW) at sites in California and the Southwest. When at peak capacity, these units can power more than 400,000 homes with 100% clean solar electricity. The first plant is anticipated to begin producing electricity as early as 2011.
At closing, NRG will invest approximately $10 million for equity and associated development rights for three projects on sites in south central California and the Southwest US and a portfolio of PPAs to develop, build, own and operate up to 11 eSolar modular solar generating units at these sites. These development assets will use eSolar’s concentrating solar power (CSP) technology to sell renewable electricity under contracted power purchase agreements (PPAs) with local utilities seeking competitively priced, zero-carbon solar power.
“This is NRG’s first venture into solar power and it brings an exceptionally important component to the low- and no-carbon focus of our RepoweringNRG program,” said Michael Liebelson, Chief Development Officer Low Carbon Technology for NRG Energy. “By coupling NRG’s construction capabilities and regional operating expertise with eSolar’s innovative CSP technology, we can advance NRG’s renewable energy portfolio while helping to accelerate development of these important projects on a commercial scale.”
eSolar is currently completing its first commercial demonstration CSP plant in Southern California. The facility will be the first fully functioning solar thermal power tower plant built in the United States. In building this first plant, eSolar is obtaining valuable design, construction and operational insights to provide NRG the foundation for the implementation of commercial scale facilities.
“eSolar’s breakthrough modular power plants use more software and less steel to allow solar energy to be competitive with fossil fuels for the first time ever,” said Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar. “NRG Energy’s extensive project skills and focus on advancing a diverse portfolio of energy generation technology will help accelerate the deployment of eSolar’s CSP technology in locations across the US.”
eSolar’s global leadership shares an extensive and proven track record of experience in solar technologies and renewable energy projects. By leveraging a proprietary combination of optics and software in a pre-fabricated form factor, eSolar achieves economies of scale while focusing on the key business obstacles that have characterized large solar installations–price, scalability, speed of deployment and grid impact. eSolar has partnered with Idealab, Google.org, Oak Investment Partners, and other investors to develop large and utility-scale power projects around the world.
A conference call to discuss this announcement will be held at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT on Monday, February 23rd, and will be hosted by Michael Liebelson and Bill Gross. The conference can be accessed by dialing 877.407.9205 or 201.689.8054. Send requests for high-resolution renderings of eSolar’s plants to Casey Cronin at firstname.lastname@example.org
NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. NRG’s 48 plants provide approximately 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity–enough to power nearly 20 million homes. In November 2007, NRG won two of the industry’s highest honors–Platts Industry Leadership and Energy Company of the Year awards. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, NRG is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of business and environmental organizations calling for mandatory legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More information is available at http://www.nrgenergy.com.
Safe Harbor Disclosure
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions and include statements regarding solar power development and typically can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “forecast,” “plan,” “believe” and similar terms. Although the Company believes that its expectations are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated above include, among others, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the power industry, weather conditions, competition in wholesale power markets, the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform under contracts, changes in the wholesale power markets, changes in government regulation of markets and of environmental emissions, unanticipated outages at our generation facilities, adverse results in current and future litigation, and the inability to implement value enhancing improvements to plant operations and companywide processes.
NRG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The foregoing review of factors that could cause NRG’s actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking statements included herein should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect NRG’s future results included in NRG’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at http://www.sec.gov.
eSolar is an Idealab company founded by CEO Bill Gross and CTO Asif Ansari in 2007 to develop, construct and deploy modular, scalable solar thermal power plants. eSolar’s approach marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced optics and computer software engineering to meet the demands of utilities of any size for clean, renewable and cost-competitive solar energy. By focusing on the key business obstacles that have characterized large solar installations – price, scalability, speed of deployment and grid impact – eSolar has developed a proprietary solution to make a dramatic reduction in the cost of solar thermal technology. eSolar is based in Pasadena, California. For more information, please visit http://www.esolar.com.
SOURCE: NRG Energy, Inc.
Reference : Energy Central