NRG Energy Continues Its Trend of Bringing Solar to All with California Community Solar Project


NRG Energy and Boeing team up with San Diego State University’s Center for Energy Sustainability to build a community solar project. When completed, the project is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 2,200 homes.


Today’s theme: community solar.

It’s no wonder that community solar is spreading, given how many Americans can’t go solar without it. For a variety of reasons, an estimated 75%+ of homeowners, renters, and businesses can’t put solar panels on their own roof.

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) one of the nation’s largest renewable energy developers, is on a roll bringing solar power within reach of the 75% who would otherwise be left out.

Today, the company introduced the NRG Community 1 Solar Generating Facility. NRG Energy says the innovative, community-focused program is among the first of its kind in the United States.

Sol Orchard developed the 6 MW project in collaboration with the Center for Energy Sustainability at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Imperial Valley Campus.

The Imperial Irrigation District will purchase all the energy generated by the installation, under a 25-year power purchase agreement, and sell it at a competitive rate to interested customers through a community solar program. The project’s design follows a similar NRG community solar installation in Rutland, Vermont and puts low-cost clean energy within reach of the Imperial Irrigation District’s customers — even those who can’t install solar on their own roof.

The Boeing Company, known as the world’s largest aerospace company but also now active in the solar business, provided engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for the Community 1 project. This marked the completion of its first solar power plant for NRG. Boeing and NRG are also currently building the first solar power plant on the island of Guam, the 25.65 MW AC Dandan Solar Facility.

The Community 1 Solar Generating Facility covers nearly 37 acres of land owned by SDSU and uses more than 25,000 modules, which will generate enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 2,200 homes at full capacity. Additionally, the project will reduce emissions and lower the demand on the southern California electricity grid.

“At NRG, we challenge the status quo, joining forces with the best to push the industry on innovation and new design, all with consumer needs in mind,” said Randy Hickok, senior vice president, NRG. “We’re truly excited to empower the Imperial Irrigation District’s community solar program which brings pioneering spirit and clean technology to their customers.”

“Clean, affordable and secure power is important around the world,” said Tim Noonan, vice president, Ventures, part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “Boeing relied on its strong supply chain management, systems engineering, program management and performance-based logistics to build the Community 1 solar power plant. We look forward to scaling collaboration on future projects with our partners at NRG.”

The project represents yet another step toward making solar power available to everyone, even those of us who can’t put panels on our own roof.