NRG Energy buys Solar Power Partners, moves into distributed solar

It's official. NRG Energy, which specializes in big, centralized power projects, has jumped into the distributed solar market.

NRG Energy has snapped up San Francisco-based Solar Power Partners, an acquisition that not only expands the company's clean power portfolio, but marks its entrance into the distributed solar market.

NRG Solar, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, has more than 2,000 megawatts of photovoltaic and solar thermal projects under development or in construction. Until now, NRG Solar has focused on large centralized power projects, including its $300 million investment into the BrightSource Energy 392-megawatt solar thermal system in California's Mojave desert. Now its betting on increased demand from U.S. businesses for smaller solar systems that connect directly to the grid.

The Solar Power Partners acquisition will add 30 megawatts of distributed solar power projects under operation or construction to NRG's portfolio, the company said in a release Monday. NRG also will take over Solar Power Partners' pipeline of development projects in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario and Puerto Rico. NRG Energy didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Solar Power Partners develops much smaller solar systems installed on businesses' roofs such as grocery stores, hospitals, universities, office buildings, municipal buildings, schools and airports. These distributed solar power projects are located on site and are either ground mounted or installed on rooftops. The systems developed by Solar Power include a 1.2-megawatt project at the University of California, San Diego and a 492 kilowatt rooftop installation for Ventura County.

Photo: Solar Power Partners

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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