State/ NRG Effort Puts People to Work and Improves Air Quality

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Investments in the Indian River power plant that created hundreds of local jobs to help build a massive emissions control system there stemmed from a partnership between the state and NRG Energy, which owns the plant.

This partnership is putting people to work on a project whose environmental benefits are clear and direct. I want to thank the teams whose hard work help put this effort in place and the workers whose efforts each day are building something lasting

Investments in the Indian River power plant that created hundreds of local jobs to help build a massive emissions control system there stemmed from a partnership between the state and NRG Energy, which owns the plant. Standing at a podium against a backdrop of steel girders rising several stories, Governor Jack Markell joined some of those workers, state leaders and NRG executives today to applaud progress at the 656-megawatt facility that can supply power to 525,000 average households. The state offered NRG the opportunity to raise money to fund the improvements and lower their cost of capital by leveraging the Delaware Economic Development Authority.

“This partnership is putting people to work on a project whose environmental benefits are clear and direct. I want to thank the teams whose hard work help put this effort in place and the workers whose efforts each day are building something lasting,” said Markell, who was joined by Delaware Economic Development Office Secretary Alan Levin and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Collin O’Mara at the event.

The Governor recognized NRG’s overall investment of some $410 million — including previously-installed systems now operating — in these state-of-the art emissions controls, which will allow the plant to continue providing reliable electricity for many years. He also recognized the efforts of the state’s Economic Development Office to help NRG secure a bond issuance of $190 million.

“We were very pleased to partner with NRG, supporting a major effort that adds significantly to the local economy,” said Levin. “With the help of this bond issuance as well as NRG’s previous investments, NRG and the Indian River plant have created 400 - 500 construction jobs, and will maintain many operations and maintenance jobs while contributing significantly to the local tax base.”

DEDO manages the issuance of tax-exempt bonds for eligible companies that can be used to finance capital improvements and expansions vital to sustain economic growth. While these bonds are not backed or guaranteed by the state of Delaware, the availability of this type of financing provides an important incentive to businesses. The interest paid to bond holders is exempt from federal and Delaware income taxes. In addition, DEDA receives a fee, equal to .5 percent of the financing, for the administration of the bond issuance.

“We are eager to see the project complete not only to have one of the cleanest coal-fired units in the nation, but also to showcase this plant as a model for the rest of the industry to follow. Retrofitting existing coal fired power plants with modern emission controls is a necessary and cost effective way to improve air quality and protect public health across the country, “said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara.

NRG commends Delaware’s strong leadership on clean energy, and very much appreciates today’s visit by the Governor, Secretary Levin and Secretary O’Mara to a project that will deliver significant environmental improvements along with hundreds of Union construction jobs,” said Drew Murphy, president of NRG’s Northeast Region. “This emissions control project is one significant part of NRG’s company-wide clean energy initiative, including onshore and offshore wind, biomass, solar projects, and the infrastructure to make electric vehicles practical and convenient.”

Following formal remarks, Murphy presented Governor Markell, Secretary Levin and Secretary O’Mara with plaques commemorating the project’s progress and their visit, and led the Governor and other guests on a tour of the entire facility.

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
DEDO is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit DEDO. Follow us on Twitter @DEDOgov.

About the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
The mission of DNREC is to ensure the wise management, conservation, and enhancement of the State’s natural resources, protect public health and the environment, provide quality outdoor recreation, improve the quality of life and educate the public on historic, cultural, and natural resource use, requirements and issues.

About NRG Energy
NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide nearly 26,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply nearly 21 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses, Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company, combined serve more than 1.8 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With investments in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America transition to a clean energy economy.

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Nikki Lavoie

David Gaier