Billionaire Richard Branson has called upon NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG) to turn one of his private islands into a renewable energy oasis…
How nice it must be to try and save the world when money is no object.
For Sir Richard Branson, he probably likens it to being a kid in a toy store — only in his world, the toy store is a private Caribbean island, and the toys he can play with are worth tens of millions of dollars.
In his latest outlandish escapade, he plans to power his own island with a micro-grid created from renewable energy sources.
Affectionately known as “Demo Island”, the 74-acre Necker Island is Branson’s private getaway that also happens to be point zero for what’s called the Ten Island Renewable Challenge
The idea was spawned from the Carbon War Room, a non-profit founded by Branson in 2009.
Carbon War Room is comprised of influential entrepreneurs who want to combat climate change by finding ways to create market demand for clean technologies.
Small island economies became a focal point for the non-profit, seeing as retail electricity prices in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world.
In turn, such costs greatly hinder economic development, foreign investment, as well as jobs on these tiny islands.
Ten Island Renewable Challenge’s mission is to enlist ten island communities who are committed to adopting and building a renewable energy solution that would reduce and eventually eliminate their islands’ use of fossil fuels.
To date, Aruba, St. Lucia, and the British Virgin Islands have pledged to be part of the initiative, while Grenada and a number of Pacific Islands are considering joining as well.
Meanwhile, Branson’s Necker Island has been designated as the experimental lab to “demo” new green technologies and be a model others.
Last February, an request was issued to interested companies who can put forth a renewable power solution for Demo Island.
One year later, NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG) got the nod.
NRG is one of the nation’s largest and most diverse power generation companies, providing electricity to more than two million customers through a variety of natural gas, oil, coal, wind, and solar assets.
Their combined assets in the US have a power capacity of over 46,000 megawatts.
According to the agreement signed at the recent Creating Climate Wealth Summit, NRG will develop a renewables-driven micro-grid for the entire island, supplying high quality, reliable electricity powered at least 75% by an integrated array of solar, wind and energy storage technologies.
Making up the balance will be a back-up diesel generation solution.
This system will also be supported by new energy efficiency and energy control automation designed to reduce overall energy use and synchronize energy consumption with renewable energy production on the island.
By exploiting the readily available and ample renewable energy resources, NRG CEO David Crane stated that Ten Island Renewable Challenge islands can “…achieve an immediate and significant reduction of operating expenses, imported fuel cost, carbon footprint and other air emissions and noise pollution.”
No word yet on the total value or timeline for this project, but it’s likely that a nice chunk of the $1 billion ponied up by the Carbon War Room to kickstart the initiative will be used to pay NRG.
Winning the contract is definitely going to give NRG’s financial statements a solid boost.
For its Q3 2013 earnings report in November, the Company reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter. Though it was well off the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.83, it was a vast improvement from its $0.01 loss per share in the same quarter the previous year.
NRG also posted revenues of $3.49 billion for the quarter, which exceeded consensus estimates of $3.08 billion. The Company’s quarterly revenue was up 49.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Analysts expect NRG Energy will have an even stronger year, posting $1.50 EPS for 2014.
Thanks to NRG Energy, island living is about to get a whole lot cleaner…and cheaper.
- This Coal Stock Is A Top Bet After The EPA’s Latest Blow
- The World’s Dirtiest Nation is also the World’s Cleanest
- The Little-Known Company That’s Turning The Tide Of Ocean Energy Technology
- Two Top Stocks Set To Profit From Power Failures
- A Top Biofuel Stock Gaining Momentum From A Bush-Era Energy Breakthrough