NRG Energy to Acquire Green Mountain Energy Company for $350 Million

NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 energy company, announced earlier this month that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Green Mountain Energy Company, a retail provider of clean energy products and services in the U.S., for $350 million in cash.  This transaction is expected to close by mid-November.

Green Mountain was founded in 1997 and offers consumers and businesses the choice of clean electricity products from renewable sources such as wind and water, as well as a variety of carbon offset products.  Upon the close of this transaction Green Mountain will be run as a standalone business within NRG.

“A permanent and fast-growing portion of the American population is seeking to live sustainably across all key phases of their lifestyle, including the energy they use in their homes, at work and in their personal transportation. Green Mountain understands that customer base and serves it better than any other retail energy provider,” said David Crane, NRG President and Chief Executive Officer. “Increasingly NRG, with our expanding portfolio of wind, solar and biomass initiatives, working with and through Green Mountain, is poised to become the clean energy provider of choice for Americans who want to make a difference for the environment.”

“Our acquisition by NRG strengthens Green Mountain’s ability to provide the clean energy products that our customers value, while allowing us to reach new markets and offer greater consumer choice—all while preserving our founding ideals,” said Paul Thomas, Green Mountain President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers will continue to be Green Mountain customers.”

NRG Energy Invests Approximately $10 Million in eSolar and Will Develop Solar Thermal Power Plants Using eSolar Technology

Today NRG Energy announced that it signed an agreement with eSolar to develop solar thermal power plants with a total generation capacity of up to 500 megawatts (MW) at sites in California and the Southwest.  In addition, NRG will invest approximately $10 million for equity and associated development rights for three projects on sites in south central California and the Southwest US 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.

eSolar, an Idealab company based in Pasadena, California, produces modular, scalable solar thermal power plants that are designed to address the complex issues involved in large or utility-scale power projects.  The company is currently completing its first commercial demonstration concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Southern California. The facility will be the first fully functioning solar thermal power tower plant built in the United States.

"This is NRG's first venture into solar power and it brings an exceptionally important component to the low- and no-carbon focus of our RepoweringNRG program," said Michael Liebelson, Chief Development Officer Low Carbon Technology for NRG Energy. "By coupling NRG's construction capabilities and regional operating expertise with eSolar's innovative CSP technology, we can advance NRG's renewable energy portfolio while helping to accelerate development of these important projects on a commercial scale."

"eSolar's breakthrough modular power plants use more software and less steel to allow solar energy to be competitive with fossil fuels for the first time ever," said Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar. "NRG Energy's extensive project skills and focus on advancing a diverse portfolio of energy generation technology will help accelerate the deployment of eSolar's CSP technology in locations across the US."

As previously reported by Green VC, eSolar received $130 million in funding from Idealab, Google.org, Oak Investment Partners, and other investors.

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