|Traded as||NYSE: NRG|
S&P 500 Component
|Headquarters||Princeton, New Jersey (financial), Houston, Texas (operations)|
|USA – 11 states|
(President and CEO)
Electric power transmission
Number of employees
NRG Energy, Inc. is a large American energy company, dual-headquartered in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas. It was formerly the wholesale arm of Xcel Energy, and was spun off in bankruptcy in 2004.
When the state of Texas deregulated the electricity market, Houston Industries, the parent company of Houston Lighting & Power (HL&P) was broken up. In 2003 Houston Industries was split into three companies. The power plants went to Texas Genco, CenterPoint Energy took over the distribution system, and the retail and wholesale electricity business became Reliant Energy.
In 2006, NRG Energy bought Texas Genco from a group of private equity firms for roughly $5.9 billion. Afterwards, in May 2009, NRG Energy acquired the retail operations of Reliant Energy. With those two moves, NRG's holdings represented most of the former HL&P and today serve 1.6 million customers in Texas. The retail operations continue to operate under the Reliant Energy name while old Reliant's wholesale operations became RRI Energy.
Following the acquisition of Reliant, NRG extended its retail footprint with the acquisition of Green Mountain Energy in November 2010. In doing so, NRG also became the largest retailer of green power in the nation, providing all of its Green Mountain and many of its Reliant customers with energy derived from 100% renewable resources.
NRG Energy completed its acquisition of GenOn Energy in December 2012 for $1.7 billion in stock and cash. The GenOn name was retired in the merger, but the combined company retained GenOn's Houston headquarters to coordinate operations. That company, in turn, had been formed out of the merger of RRI Energy and Mirant Corporation in 2010.
In September 2014, NRG acquired Goal Zero, a manufacturer of personal solar power products.
In March 2018 NRG acquired Xoom Energy, a mainly residential focused, retail energy supplier with 300,000 RCE customers. The sale price was $210 million.
NRG Energy holds the naming rights to the NRG Park campus (formerly Reliant Park) in Houston, Texas, home to the NRG Astrodome, NRG Stadium, NRG Arena and NRG Center. NRG Energy also holds the naming rights for a NRG Station (formerly AT&T Station), a rapid transit station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After the GenOn merger, NRG has 47,000 MW of total generation capacity, enough to power approximately 40 million homes. Its nearly 100 power plants are located in 18 states in the Northeast, Chicago area, Gulf Coast, Southwest, Nevada, and California. Generation facilities include mostly fossil fuel power plants powered by natural gas, oil, and coal; plus four wind farms (in Texas) and six solar farms (in California, Arizona, and New Mexico). NRG also has a 44% ownership stake in the South Texas Nuclear Generating Station and a 37.5% stake in a coal power plant in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia. Some facilities use cogeneration and the company also owns 28 MW of solar distributed generation.
Green energy initiatives
Beginning in 2009, NRG began an initiative to become a green energy producer in the United States and started investing money in clean energy projects. They include onshore and offshore wind power, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic, and distributed solar power facilities, and repowering of some of their traditional coal plants with biomass. In late 2010, NRG launched the "EVgo" network, the first completely private public car charging station network for electric power vehicles.
New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas has been chair of a coalition to support the utility in their plan to replace its power plant in Astoria with a newer generator. The company stated its intention in 2012 to replace 31 older oil generators with new gas generators that will increase the megawatts of power while reducing emissions. As of 2018, of the 19 Astoria facilities listed in the 2018 NYISO Gold Book as being owned by NRG, 7 of the facilities are on the deactivated list (at a total of 140 MW of capacity rights), and 12 of the facilities (at a total of 558 MW in nameplate capacity) have each consistently produced less than 15 GWh a year since 2011. This is equivalent to running at full capacity for less than 4% of the year. These 12 units still collect annual revenues from the NYISO's capacity market for not producing energy. For example, at 6.40 ($/kW – Month), the 12 actively listed facilities would produce an annual capacity market revenue of $42.8 million for NRG. It is unclear if the 7 deactivated units still collect capacity market revenues. In July 2017, NRG filed a request with the New York State Public Service Commission to avoid Article 10 siting procedures for a proposed turbine replacement project which would represent a total proposed capacity of 579 MW. The turbine upgrades listed in the filing are new simple-cycle turbines. The filing states that since the proposed capacity is not 25 MW greater than the existing facility, Article 10 regulation is not required. As of November 2018, no ruling has been issued by the NYSPSC.
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