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Summary:

NRG Energy just scooped up a portfolio of nine solar development projects in California and Arizona. Through subsidiary NRG Solar, the New Jersey-based power producer has bought the projects for an undisclosed price from US Solar Ventures Holdings.

NRG Energy just scooped up a portfolio of nine solar development projects in California and Arizona. Through subsidiary NRG Solar, the New Jersey-based power producer has bought the projects for an undisclosed price from US Solar Ventures Holdings.

Ranging in size from 20 megawatts to 99 megawatts and expected to eventually total 450 MW, these projects aren’t set to come online until 2011-2013. With the addition of these new projects, NRG Solar’s development pipeline now includes 1.15 gigawatts of solar projects.

Today’s deal comes at a time when utilities have started to help drive the solar installation market, having recently become eligible for the first time for federal tax credits and cash grants. Those incentives have made it feasible for them to build their own plants, instead of financing them through power-purchase-agreement providers that own and operate the plants. NRG is what’s known as a merchant generator, selling power on competitive wholesale markets rather than at regulated rates like utilities.

Founded in 2008 as a joint venture with affiliates of investment firm ArcLight Capital Partners, US Solar has focused on developing utility-scale projects — from siting, permitting and financing to securing interconnections and transmission — that use parabolic trough and photovoltaic solar technology.

NRG owns about 24 gigawatts of power generation, mostly in natural gas and coal plants in Texas and the Northeast. It’s relatively new to the renewables industry, with only two clean energy projects in its portfolio as of July 2009 (a pair of wind plants in Texas). But late last year NRG bought a high-profile 21-megawatt solar project in Blythe, Calif. from thin-film giant First Solar, and also announced plans to spend $300 million-$500 million annually over the next 5-6 years in renewables, mostly in solar, biomass and wind projects.

Photo courtesy of NRG Solar

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  1. Roundup: Teaching New York to think like Silicon Valley, Google still in the hot seat for Street View data catch, and more | TECHNICK Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    [...] adds solar projects to its fold — NRG Energy has gained nine new solar development projects in California and Arizona from US Solar Ve…, Earth2Tech reports. All told, the firm is now working on producing 1.15 new gigawatts of energy [...]

  2. Roundup: Teaching New York to think like Silicon Valley, Google still in the hot seat for Street View data catch, and more | Internet News for Geeks Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    [...] adds solar projects to its fold — NRG Energy has gained nine new solar development projects in California and Arizona from US Solar Ve…, Earth2Tech reports. All told, the firm is now working on producing 1.15 new gigawatts of energy [...]

  3. NRG Energy picks up new solar projects; 450 megawatts – SmartPlanet Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    [...] that will eventually total roughly 450 megawatts of capacity. Earth2Tech’s Josie Garthwaite pegs the number of projects at nine, with capacities ranging from 20 to 99 megawatts [...]

  4. Roundup: Teaching New York to think like Silicon Valley, Google Street View still in the hot seat, and more « Mr Q who News Post Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    [...] adds solar projects to its fold — NRG Energy has gained nine new solar development projects in California and Arizona from US Solar Ve…, Earth2Tech reports. All told, the firm is now working on producing 1.15 new gigawatts of energy [...]

  5. Arizona Solar Power Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Before too long we will see this happening in other areas of the U.S., not just the southwest. It can happen and will and before long, solar power will be like computers — in every home.

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