NRG Energy solar units could pay off federal loans early

Some NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) renewable subsidiaries getting federal backing for their participation in the Ivanpah solar thermal project in California could possibly pay off their federal loans early.

The financial update was spelled out in an 8-K form filed by NRG with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on Dec. 23.

“On December 22, 2014, Solar Partners I, Solar Partners II and Solar Partners VIII, subsidiaries of NRG Energy, Inc., received cash grants from the U.S. Department of Treasury under the 1603 Cash Grant Program in connection with the Ivanpah solar thermal project in excess of the amounts due under their respective bridge loans,” according to the filing.

“The existing $159 million bridge loan of Solar Partners I; the existing $132 million bridge loan of Solar Partners II; and the existing $117 million bridge loan of Solar Partners VIII are expected to be paid in full on or prior to their respective maturity dates,” NRG said.

The massive Ivanpah solar-thermal complex is jointly-owned by NRG, BrightSource Energy and Google. The three-unit system power system is being developed on roughly 3,500 acres of public desert land in Ivanpah Dry Lake, Calif. It represents a roughly $2.2bn investment, according to the Ivanpah website.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at