NRG Energy To Invest $300M in California Solar Thermal Plant

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) said it will invest $300 million in BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar thermal project over the next three years.

The power generation company would be the largest single investor in the 392-megawatts (MW) project (not including the U.S. Department of Energy, which awarded the project a $1.375 billion loan guarantee.)

Ivanpah is located approximately 50 miles northwest of Needles,
California, about five miles from the Nevada border on federal land
by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land

Construction has already begun, and all three phases of the project are expected to be fully operational by mid-2013.

Electricity from Ivanpah will be sold under multiple power purchase agreements, each of 20-25 years duration with Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX) and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG).

“NRG’s experience operating and owning power plants, coupled with its unmatched understanding of the solar power markets makes it an ideal partner for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System,” said John Woolard, President and CEO of BrightSource Energy.

NRG currently owns the largest photovoltaic solar project in California, a 21 MW facility in Blythe. Under a partnership with Eurus Energy America, NRG will co-own three photovoltaic solar facilities in California that, when completed in mid-2011, will generate 45 MW.

In June 2010, NRG Solar agreed to purchase a portfolio of nine solar development projects in California and Arizona from US Solar, an affiliate of Arclight Capital Partners, LLC, doubling the Company’s development pipeline to 1,150 MW.

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