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NRG Energy, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results And Narrows Guidance To Middle Of Range

Solar

  • Agua Caliente – As of September 30, 2012, 230 MWs of generation capacity have achieved commercial operation making Agua Caliente the largest operating solar PV project in the United States. Overall, construction at Agua Caliente is several months ahead of schedule. Power generated by Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E).
  • CVSR – Construction of the California Valley Solar Ranch project is well advanced, with 22 MWs achieving operation on September 19, 2012. We continue to expect all other phases of the project to be completed earlier than the dates anticipated at the time the project was acquired, with 125 MWs on-line by the end of 2012 and the remaining 125 MWs completed in the third and fourth quarter of 2013. Power from this project will be sold to PG&E under 25-year PPAs.
  • Ivanpah – Unit 1 (124 MWs) is expected to produce its first steam in January 2013 and be completed and producing power in May 2013. The remaining two units (each at 127 MWs) are currently expected to be completed in the third and fourth quarter of 2013. Power from Units 1 and 3 will be sold to PG&E via two 25-year PPAs, and power from Unit 2 will be sold to Southern California Edison under a 20-year PPA.
  • Other Solar – NRG Solar also has several other smaller projects under construction that are expected to reach commercial operation within 2012; ranging from the Borrego project (26 MWs under a 25-year PPA with San Diego Gas and Electric) to smaller Distributed Generation scale installations, such as our “showcase” solar projects currently operating or under construction at four NFL stadiums.

Alternative Energy

  • Petra Nova – Petra Nova continues with the development of its peaking unit at NRG’s WA Parish Generating Station and on August 14, 2012 signed a $24 million lump-sum, turnkey EPC contract. Petra Nova is targeting a May 2013 commercial operation date, and it is anticipated that the unit will eventually be used as a cogeneration facility dedicated to a Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Project, sponsored in part by the Department of Energy, at the Parish facility. The peaking unit is being financed, in part with the proceeds of a $54 million tax-exempt bond financing that was completed on May 3, 2012, of which NRG has drawn $16 million through September 30, 2012.

Guidance Update

Notwithstanding the comparatively mild summer weather on the back of extremely mild weather last winter, NRG is pleased to narrow its adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2012 to the center of the previous range. For fiscal year 2012, NRG projects $1,875-$1,925 million of adjusted EBITDA on a standalone basis with Wholesale contributing $1,170-$1,195 million, Retail contributing $630-$650 million and Solar projects contributing $75-80 million. The Company is also narrowing its free cash flow before growth investments guidance range to $900-$950 million. For fiscal years 2013 and 2014, NRG also affirms the standalone guidance previously given.

 

Table 4: 2012 Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA Guidance

($ in millions) 11/2/12 8/8/12
Adjusted EBITDA guidance 1,875– 1,925 1,825 – 2,000
Interest payments (659) (605)
Income tax (30) (50)
Collateral/working capital/other changes (36) (94)
Adjusted cash flow from operations 1,150 – 1,200 1,050 – 1,250
Maintenance capital expenditures,net (232) (240)-(260)
Environmental capital expenditures, net (6) (5)-(15)
Preferred dividends (9) (9)
Free cash flow – before growth investments 900 – 950 800 – 1,000

Note: Subtotals and totals are rounded

 

2012 Capital Allocation Program

On September 24, 2012, NRG issued $990 million aggregate principal amount at par of 6.625% Senior Notes due 2023. The Company used the net proceeds, $978 million, and additional cash on hand to redeem $820 million of the 2017 Notes through a tender offer at an early redemption percentage of 104.125%, with the remaining $270 million of notes redeemed during October. This refinancing reduces corporate debt by $100 million, decreases annual interest expense by $14 million and creates a single covenant package across credit facilities and debt securities enabling the Company to invest more opportunistically in growth initiatives and enhance its ability to efficiently return capital to all investors.

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