NRG tackles ‘technology-driven disruption’ with home solar expansion


While the Princeton, New Jersey-based company’s nearly 2.2 GW renewable energy portfolio includes some of the largest solar and wind power plants in the country, NRG’s solar strategy increasingly relies on distributed generation and home solar leases.

“Our view is that traditional centralized service models are significantly at risk,” said Steve McBee, head of the company’s NRG Home division, during a Feb. 27 presentation of NRG’s fourth-quarter financial results. NRG needs “to win in a world where customers want to generate their own energy,” he said.

NRG plans to achieve “transformational growth” in its home solar customer base this year by expanding to between 35,000 and 40,000 customers from 13,390 at the end of 2014. The company had only 4,349 home solar customers in 2013.

This week, NRG expanded its zero-money down financing offering into North Carolina, which is considered a promising growth market for residential solar.

NRG’s home solar business posted a US$34 million loss in the fourth quarter, and $65 million loss for 2014, due to expansion outlays. The company did not make an earnings forecast for the division in 2015.

NRG plans to invest approximately $150 million into its home solar unit in 2015, and another $150 million into additional distributed solar and renewable energy projects.