NRG and Boeing team up with San Diego State University’s Center for Energy Sustainability to build solar power facility

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BRAWLEY – NRG Energy, Inc.,  one of the nation’s largest renewable energy developers, today introduced the NRG Community 1 Solar Generating Facility. Through an innovative, community focused program — among the first of its kind in the United States — the project was developed by Sol Orchard in collaboration with the Center for Energy Sustainability at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Imperial Valley Campus – Brawley.

SDSU new solar

The Imperial Irrigation District will purchase all energy generated by the facility, under a 25-year power purchase agreement, and sell it at a competitive rate to interested customers through a community solar program. The inventive system design follows a similar NRG community solar installation in Rutland, Vermont and puts low-cost clean energy within reach of the Imperial Irrigation District’s consumers. This program creates a unique option for homes and facilities that may not be ideal candidates for rooftop systems while ensuring that renewable energy reaches as many consumers as possible.

The Boeing Company provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the Community 1 project marking completion of its first solar power plant for NRG. Boeing and NRG are also currently building the 25.65 megawatt (MW ac) Dandan Solar Facility, which will be the first solar power plant on the island of Guam, with an expected completion date later this year.

The six megawatt Community 1 solar facility covers nearly 37 acres of land owned by SDSU and has more than 25,000 modules, which will generate enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 2,200 homes at full capacity. Additionally, it will reduce emissions and lower the demand on the southern California electricity grid.

“At NRG, we challenge the status quo, joining forces with the best to push the industry on innovation and new design, all with consumer needs in mind,” said Randy Hickok, senior vice president, NRG. “We’re truly excited to empower the Imperial Irrigation District’s community solar program which brings pioneering spirit and clean technology to their customers while doing something that will help ensure the future of our planet.”

“Clean, affordable and secure power is important around the world,” said Tim Noonan, vice president, Ventures, part of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “Boeing relied on its strong supply chain management, systems engineering, program management and performance-based logistics to build the Community 1 solar power plant. We look forward to scaling collaboration on future projects with our partners at NRG.”