NRG Renew, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc., and SunShare, a community solar company, are partnering to finance and build 8.2 MWac (10 MWdc) of community solar projects along the Front Range of Colorado. This project will double NRG's existing community solar portfolio.
Once completed and online in mid-2015, this will be one of the largest operating community solar portfolios in the nation, comprised of five ground-mount sites, four in Denver's bustling metropolitan area and one in nearby Colorado Springs. The renewable electricity generated through this alliance will be available to residential, municipal and commercial subscribers spanning five counties, including schools, libraries and other municipal buildings. Subscribers will enter into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with SunShare and will earn credits toward their energy bill.
"Community solar projects broaden access to locally generated solar energy and allow businesses and family residences with financial or space restrictions to choose renewable energy," said Craig Cornelius, Senior Vice President of Business Development at NRG Renew. "Community solar is a key part of the distributed, clean energy future NRG is committed to fostering."
A primary component of NRG Renew's distributed generation strategy includes developing and delivering clean, reliable energy in an efficient manner that generates power closer to where it is consumed. In addition to a number of community wind assets, NRG also owns and operates the Community 1 solar facility in Brawley, Calif., and a community solar array in Rutland, Vt.
"Our partnership with NRG brings the promise of a bright future for community solar, an exciting market that truly has the potential to bring the choice of solar to every American," said David Amster-Olszewski, President and Founder of SunShare.
SunShare's first two .5 MWac community solar gardens in Colorado Springs are the first fully subscribed solar projects of their kind in the country. In total, SunShare has more than 100 MWac of solar gardens built or under development and has offices in Denver and Minneapolis, Minn.