NRG Energy, (NYSE:NRG) is headed to the islands again. The utility announced today that it has acquired a 4 MW U.S. Virgin Islands solar project from Toshiba International Corporation. Construction of the Spanish Town Estate Solar project began in April 2014 and is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 1,500 homes.
"We are extremely excited to partner with WAPA [Virgin Island Water and Power Authority] in paving the road for the development of this and other renewable energy capacity on St. Croix," said Tom Doyle, President of NRG's renewable energy business, in today's press release. "Not only is solar cost-competitive here, but it provides clean, emission-free power, helping to ensure that the pristine beauty of the island is not compromised by the economic costs and detrimental effects of importing and using fossil fuels. In addition, Toshiba has significant experience working on St. Croix and we look forward to building a long lasting relationship with both WAPA and continuing our interaction with Toshiba."
Along with its acquisition, NRG Energy will take on a 25-year power purchase agreement, ensuring stable revenue from the solar source. Toshiba will continue to take the lead on engineering, procurement, and construction.
NRG is no stranger to Caribbean energy opportunities. The utility has solar projects in Haiti and St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands), as well as an under-construction microgrid project on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.
While today's press release made no mention of a purchase price, NRG did note that the solar facility is expected to "inject a total of approximately $3 million into the local economy,", including via construction jobs. The project is slated for completion in Q4.