NRG announces strategic focus on renewable energy, DG and storage

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On Thursday, NRG announced a new set of sustainability and carbon reduction goals and a growth strategy focusing on renewable energy and distributed generation at the groundbreaking of a new headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey.

The company has committed to reduce its CO2 emissions 50% below 2014 levels by 2030 and 90% by 2050, as it becomes the “nation’s leading provider of reliable, clean, sustainable energy”.

This will be in addition to the 40% carbon reduction that NRG has already accomplished over 2005 levels, and the company named renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, energy storage and distributed generation (DG) as components of its plans.

In a press statement NRG emphasized the DG portion of a new strategic growth plan, which will include distributed solar PV, cogeneration, electric vehicle networks and smart management systems.

“As the largest competitive generator in the country, we have the responsibility to continue reducing our carbon footprint in the medium and long term through innovation and ingenuity,” said NRG Chief Operating Officer Mauricio Gutierrez. “Our portfolio allows us to pursue everything from fuel conversions and carbon capture and sequestration to renewables and distributed technologies.”

Large American energy companies like NRG are usually on the other side of terms such as “sustainability” or “carbon reduction”. However, NRG has been a leader in the space by embracing renewable energy before its peers.

This includes not only investments in large solar PV and CSP projects like the Ivanpah CSP plant, but the creation of a residential solar division through the acquisition of Pure Energies Group and Roof Diagnostics Solar. NRG CEO David Crane has been outspoken about his views on the role of renewable energy and DG in future electricity systems.

“As the U.S. transitions to a renewables-driven, increasingly distributed, grid resilient energy system, we expect to be a leader both in clean energy and in converting the CO2 emissions of our conventional generation from a liability to a profitable by-product,” stated Crane at the groundbreaking.

NRG’s new headquarters in Princeton is designed to reflect these goals, and will include a 765 kW ground-mounted solar PV plant in two locations on the site, as well as a host of water and energy conservation features and electric vehicle charging stations. The new headquarters are scheduled to open in 2016, and will host 500 employees.

NRG did not respond to pv magazine‘s request for details regarding plans for renewable energy or DG by press time.