NRG Energy Inc. has signed an agreement with eSolar, a provider of modular, scalable solar thermal power technology, to develop solar power plants with a total generation capacity of up to 500 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 and a portfolio of power purchase agreements (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 PPAs with local utilities seeking solar power.
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 U.S., eSolar says.
SOURCES: NRG Energy Inc., eSolar