NRG Energy Acquires Its First Public Solar Facility in the U.S. Virgin Islands


NRG Energy announces it has acquired a 4 MW project in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Spanish Town Estate Solar project will help decrease St. Croix’s dependence on fossil fuel imports.


We hear a lot about solar around the U.S., but there are territories owned by the U.S. that enjoy abundant sunshine and are prime for solar development. The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is no exception. St. Croix in the USVI gets an average of 12 hours a day of sun throughout the year. Solar company NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) seems to be taking note of that.

Today, the company announced the acquisition of the 4 MW AC Spanish Town Estate Solar project on the island of St. Croix from Toshiba International Corporation. With the purchase of the project, NRG, through its subsidiaries, will be the sole owner of the facility, while Toshiba will continue to serve as the lead on engineering, procurement, and construction. Construction of the Spanish Town Estate Solar project began in April of 2014.


The power generated by the project will be sold to the U.S. Virgin Island Water and Power Authority (WAPA) under a 25-year power purchase agreement.


The project is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 1,500 homes. It will help achieve the USVI renewable energy goal to reduce fossil-fuel-based energy consumption there by 60% over the next 10 years.


This project expands NRG’s efforts in the Caribbean region with utility-scale solar and distributed solar projects in Haiti and St. John, and a microgrid installation in progress on Necker Island.


“We are extremely excited to partner with WAPA in paving the road for the development of this and other renewable energy capacity on St. Croix,” said Tom Doyle, president of NRG’s renewable energy business unit. “Not only is solar cost-competitive here, but it provides clean, emission-free power, helping to ensure that the pristine beauty of the island is not compromised by the economic costs and detrimental effects of importing and using fossil fuels. In addition, Toshiba has significant experience working on St. Croix and we look forward to building a long lasting relationship with both WAPA and continuing our interaction with Toshiba.”


The solar facility will require no fuel and minimal water. It is expected to create nearly 100 direct and indirect jobs during construction and to inject a total of approximately $3 million into the local economy.


“Toshiba International Corporation is pleased to be partnering with an industry-leading renewable energy company like NRG. WAPA will benefit from both NRG’s global power plant operating experience and their reputation as a long-term dependable power provider,” said Mark Lonkevych, Business Unit Manager of Toshiba International Corporation. “Toshiba looks forward to working with NRG to bring low cost renewable energy to the USVI and other islands in the Caribbean community.”