Earlier this week, NRG Energy announced its commitment to shared solar. This announcement came on the same day that NRG Home Solar and NRG Renew brought their newest community solar facility on-line. The 1 MW project in Freetown, Massachusetts powers approximately 160 households, accounting for the entire expected output of the facility.
NRG Home Solar and NRG Renew have over 100 megawatts of shared solar projects in various stages of development and are actively working to expand into additional markets.
“Residents in several states across America – including Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota – have spoken: they want their lives to be powered by affordable, renewable energy any way they can get it,” said Steve McBee, president and CEO of NRG Home, a division of NRG. “In Massachusetts, customers enthusiastically signed up to 100% of the output of our new shared solar facility, and in response we are accelerating our shared solar development to meet strong demand in states with supportive policies.”
This project demonstrates the strategic fit of shared solar to NRG’s integrated business model, leveraging NRG Home Solar’s ability to acquire and retain customers through its retail and residential solar businesses and NRG Renew’s ability to source, construct and operate renewable energy projects, combined with an investment by NRG Yield. Additionally, NRG Renew partnered with Borrego Solar Systems to develop the Freetown site and construct the system.
“One of the most exciting things about solar is that as it grows explosively we create new opportunities for people to make renewable energy part of their lives,” said Kelcy Pegler, Jr., President, NRG Home Solar, a division of NRG Home. “Shared solar represents that opportunity – a simple, inexpensive path for people who buy power to go solar without limitations.”
Indeed, community solar continues to stake out an important share of the solar market. GTM Research predicts that by the end of this year, shared solar will grow five-fold – to 115 MW installed. By 2020, the total will reach over 500 MW, with California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota leading the way.