Renewable electricity deal to benefit Caribbean

A leading United States renewable energy company and telecommunications giant Digicel have signed a deal to provide renewable electricity to the Caribbean.

NRG Energy, Inc. and Digicel jointly announced at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York a partnership to acquire, construct and operate renewable energy projects under development in the Caribbean region.

“NRG and Digicel stand ready to bring financial and environmental benefits to the governments, utilities and peoples of the Caribbean in a venture that could see the two companies making a sizeable investment in the region,” said the companies in a joint statement.

“NRG’s work in Haiti has demonstrated the transformative impact that renewable energy can have on communities that otherwise lack access to affordable, reliable electricity,” said David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG.

“We stand ready with Digicel to support the widespread adoption of renewables across the Caribbean, thereby helping to drive down electricity costs for the region and reducing the deleterious impacts of fossil fuel generation on the Caribbean ecosystem,” he added.

Colm Delves, group chief executive officer of Digicel, said distributed and utility-scale renewable energy projects in the Caribbean today can deliver a much lower cost of energy than fossil fuels, without subsidies.

“Our intent is to identify projects from across the region – and to support these in completing development, financing, and construction,” he said. “This will translate into substantive and lasting energy savings for the governments and people of the Caribbean.”

Crane said NRG’s vision is for solar-led renewable medium- to large-scale off-grid systems across the region.

“We understand a mix of technologies, from batteries to wind energy systems, will be necessary to offer the greatest financial and environmental benefits to Caribbean stakeholders, and we are open to supporting all systems with demonstrated performance history,” he said.

NRG and Digicel said they endeavor to partner on projects throughout the Caribbean, with the aim of acquiring, constructing, and owning these projects for their lifetime.

Through a Respond for Proposal (RFP) process, NRG and Digicel are soliciting developers, governments, installers and others to provide information on renewable energy projects under development for possible investment.

The RFP will be formally launched on Sept. 30, 2013, and end on Nov. 15, 2013, the statement said.

The process is being managed by U.S.-based CohnReznick Think Energy, LLC (CRTE). CRTE is a consulting firm focused on facilitating the growth of renewable energy by supporting transactions and providing due diligence and other advisory services.

NRG and Digicel said they have strict investment parameters, adding that each project will be thoroughly reviewed by CRTE to ensure it meets all investment criteria.

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