Ivanpah is the largest Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) facility in the world and is located near Ivanpah, Calif., in the Mojave Desert.
The northern hemisphere will reach summer solstice, the longest day of the year. NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) is ready to make the most of it, with the capacity to generate more than 1,200 megawatts (MW) of solar power, enough electricity to support more than one million homes. Since the beginning of the year, NRG’s utility-scale solar facilities have collectively produced more than 957,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity from 12 major projects. Given the timely start of summer, the power generated so far this year could power 9.6 million ceiling fans, 1.4 million refrigerators or 1.2 million pool pumps for the entire year.
"NRG is committed to transforming the future of energy and expanding what is possible for consumers through the use of renewable energy sources," said Tom Doyle, president for NRG’s solar and wind business unit. "The sun is our cleanest and most abundant energy resource, and harnessing solar power is driving a transformation to a clean energy economy. As people continue to demand and embrace clean energy solutions and companies continue to innovate further to provide them, we will start to see real progress in our fight against climate change."
This year, NRG expanded its solar capacity by completing several milestone projects, including:
*Ivanpah – Completed earlier this year, Ivanpah is the largest solar thermal facility in the world and is located near Ivanpah, Calif., in the Mojave Desert. On June 1, the plant produced 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy – a record for solar thermal production, all while having only used 6 percent of its allotted 100 acrefeet of water this year. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System, comprised of three separate plants, generates nearly 400 MW of electricity — enough to support a yearly average of 140,000 homes and more than twice that number when operating at maximum capacity during the peak hours of the day. Ivanpah is now producing half of the total solar thermal power in the state of California.
*Agua Caliente – The Agua Caliente Solar Photovoltaic Facility that debuted in April is the largest, fully operational solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the world at 290 MW. Through an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric, residents in Southern California are benefitting from Agua Caliente. The electricity generated at peak times is enough to serve more than 230,000 homes and offsets approximately 324,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 70,000 cars off the road.
*Community Solar Initiatives – NRG partnered with Boeing for engineering, procurement and construction of the Community 1 Generating Facility in Brawley, Calif., a first-of-its-kind, community solar program. Local residents can opt to purchase energy from the facility through a community solar program, which offers the energy at a competitive rate. The Community 1 Generating Facility is a six-megawatt solar facility capable of generating enough emission-free electricity to power nearly 2,200 homes. Additionally, it will reduce emissions and lower the demand on the Southern California electricity grid.
NRG also constructed a similar community solar project in Rutland, Vermont, that went online in May. A 150-kilowatt array within the city limits, the community serves 50 local residential and commercial customers who signed up for the service and in turn receive a credit on their electricity bill for the energy produced by the solar panels.
Global Initiatives – Earlier this year, NRG broke ground on a 25 MW solar project on the Island of Guam. The solar solution will offset the consumption of almost two million barrels of residual fuel oil and diesel, minimizing Guam’s reliance on imported fuel and the island’s carbon footprint.
Additionally, NRG is developing a renewables-driven micro-grid for Necker Island, one of the British Virgin Islands, that will include solar technologies to help the island reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. At least 75 percent of the renewable-based solution will be powered by solar, wind and energy storage technologies.
Professional Football Stadiums – NRG is helping demonstrate to consumers the benefits of sustainable, reliable power by showcasing innovative technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and energy-efficient LED lighting, at professional football stadiums throughout the country. By the end of 2014, the company will have installed sustainable energy solutions at six professional football stadiums throughout the country, including stadiums in Houston, Texas; Foxboro, Mass; East Rutherford, NJ; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, PA and Santa Clara, CA.
NRG is leading a customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. A Fortune 250 company, we create value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country.