(NRG) NRG Energy’s Agua Project Near Completion

Power generation company NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) announced that its joint venture Agua Caliente solar project, which is currently under construction, is more than two-thirds complete and is delivering over 200 Megawatts (MW) to the electric grid.

The other partners involved in this project are solar panel maker MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, and global solar service provider First Solar Inc. (FSLR). The US Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office is financing this project by providing a $967 million loan guarantee.

The solar facility is located in the Yuma County, Arizona and is one of the world’s largest operating photovoltaic solar plants. The project’s operational and maintenance responsibility lies with First Solar Energy Inc. First Solar will supply its industry leading modules to maximize the energy output from the farm, contributing significantly to the power grid.

The plant is expected to generate 290 MW of green energy and will be completed by 2014. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (PCG), has entered into an agreement to purchase the project’s entire generation output over a period of 25 years.

Going forward, we expect rapid progress of the pro-environment project to meet the increasing demand for renewable energy. This will lead to stable revenue growth for the company as the solar business is expected to be cost-efficient and offer stiff competition to conventional electricity generation in the coming years.

The combined venture is expected to provide economic benefits by employing a large number of workers. Currently, the project employs a daily average of 400 to 450 workers in construction.

NRG Energy’s competitor Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW) is also keeping track of its renewable business and plans to develop and own up to 200 MW of solar power plants in Arizona.

Although NRG has not provided any earnings guidance, it reaffirmed cash flow for full year 2012 to be in the range of $800–$1,000 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the second quarter and 2012 are currently pegged at 21 cents per share and 86 cents per share, respectively.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, NRG Energy is a wholesale power generation company engaged in the ownership, development, construction and operation of power generation facilities.

The company is also involved in the trade of fuel and transportation services and the sale of energy, capacity and related products in the United States and internationally. The company presently has a Zacks #2 Rank which translates to a short-term Buy rating.

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