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Ivanpah First Sync (Photo: Business Wire)

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG), through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, today announced that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synced to the power grid for the first time. Achieving this critical “first sync” is a major milestone for the project.

Ivanpah First Sync (Photo: Business Wire)

Ivanpah First Sync (Photo: Business Wire)

This successful test demonstrates the effectiveness of the station’s power tower technology, which includes large heliostats that track the sun throughout the day, solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator.

“Given the magnitude and complexity of Ivanpah, it was very important that we successfully complete this milestone showing all systems were on track,” said Tom Doyle, President of NRG Solar. “We couldn’t be more excited about achieving ‘first sync,’ and we share this success with our project partners, BrightSource and Google, as well as Bechtel, which is responsible for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning on the project.”

Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement (PPA) for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station. Power generated from Ivanpah’s Unit 3 station is also sold under a PPA with PG&E, while Unit 2 is under a PPA with Southern California Edison. Proof-of-concept testing will also be conducted at Unit 2 and 3 in the coming months.

“This is yet another major milestone that we have successfully achieved as Ivanpah approaches completion,” said David Ramm, Executive Chairman of BrightSource Energy, Inc. “Ivanpah is the showcase project for BrightSource’s power tower technology and technical expertise. Validation at this scale demonstrates the viability of our technology as BrightSource increases focus on international markets and applications for concentrating solar power.”

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