NRG Completes Solar Facility for Cisco in California
April 20, 2017
Blythe II in California Will Help Cisco Achieve Renewable Energy Goals
Today, we announced the completion and commercial operation of a 20 megawatt (MW-AC) solar energy facility that is now generating clean, reliable solar power for Cisco’s San Jose, Calif. headquarters. All electricity and renewable energy credits generated by the solar installation go to Cisco under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), increasing Cisco headquarters’ total use of clean, emission-free electricity.
The power plant, “NRG Blythe II,” took 12 months to build and created 220 jobs during the peak of construction in 2016. The project sits on a 150-acre parcel in eastern Riverside County, Calif., is now home to a photovoltaic solar installation featuring 96,000 solar panels. It will help Cisco meet its 2017 sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% and to use renewable energy for at least 25% of its power needs each year.
“Companies like Cisco are driving an evolution in America’s energy mix as they seek cleaner sources of power that provide more certainty over energy costs,” said Craig Cornelius, President of NRG Renewables. “This solar facility — our 12th utility-scale solar project in California — is another great example of how Fortune 500 companies are making commitments to renewable power to meet their energy needs.”
Janet Ramey, Senior Vice President of Employee Services at Cisco, says of the project, “Solar PPAs like this help us meet our sustainability goals, while adding more renewable energy to the grid. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to incorporate low- and no-carbon energy sources into our operations.”
Located in the Sonoran Desert near the Arizona and California border, the Blythe II location (adjacent to NRG’s 21 MW Blythe I facility) receives plentiful sunshine. The photovoltaic technology on site requires no fuel and minimal water. The amount of emission-free energy expected to be generated will be equivalent to the power needed to serve more than 100,000 homes and prevent more than 803,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, which is equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions incurred from consuming 90 million gallons of gasoline.
The Blythe II project is one of the ways Cisco is incorporating renewables into its energy portfolio. Cisco also purchases renewable energy credits and operates several on-site solar PV systems while reducing the amount of energy needed in its real estate portfolio through energy efficiency projects. Want to learn more? Please visit our project page here.
NRG, combined with NRG Yield, maintains an operating utility-scale and distributed renewable energy portfolio of nearly 4.8 GW across 26 states.