NRG Energy, SunPower Energize First 22 Megawatts of 250-Megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch

  NRG Energy, SunPower Energize First 22 Megawatts of 250-Megawatt California
  Valley Solar Ranch

   Huge solar project creates hundreds of jobs and starts generating clean,
                            renewable electricity

Business Wire

PRINCETON, N.J. & SAN JOSE, Calif. -- October 24, 2012

NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) will celebrate
today the first 22 megawatts (MW) of the 250-MW California Valley Solar Ranch
(CVSR) being delivered to the electrical grid.

NRG Energy and SunPower announced the first 22 megawatts online at California
Valley Solar Ranch in ...

NRG Energy and SunPower announced the first 22 megawatts online at California
Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, 100 miles northwest of Los
Angeles. (Photo: Business Wire)

CVSR is one of the largest central station photovoltaic solar plants in the
world. It has created approximately 350 jobs since construction started in
September 2011, and is expected to inject $315 million into the local economy
over its two-year construction period. NRG completed the acquisition of CVSR
on September 30, 2011.

Once completed, CVSR will power a yearly average of 100,000 homes with clean,
renewable solar energy, while protecting and conserving more than 12,000 acres
of land in and around the Carrizo Plain in southeastern San Luis Obispo
County, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Electricity from CVSR is
being sold to PG&E through 25-year power purchase agreements.

“The private sector’s role is to demonstrate successful performance that
speeds commercialization of technology—on time and on budget—and that’s what
we’re doing at CVSR and all of NRG’s major solar projects,” said Tom Doyle,
president of NRG Solar and NRG’s West Region. “Equally important, through
large scale deployment, the private sector is accelerating cost reductions
through supply chain improvements, lower balance of system costs and progress
through experience that can’t be achieved at the lab bench or in the factory.”

NRG is the sole owner of the project, which is expected to be fully online by
December 2013. SunPower designed the project, and is working with Bechtel to
provide balance of plant engineering and procurement services and construction
services. Once completed, NRG and SunPower will jointly operate and maintain
CVSR for two years, after which NRG assumes sole responsibility.

“We congratulate NRG and SunPower on this important milestone at the
California Valley Solar Ranch,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president, energy
procurement, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “PG&E provides to its customers
some of the cleanest electricity in the nation, more than half of which comes
from sources that are renewable or carbon free. This project will play an
important role in our efforts to meet California’s 33% renewable portfolio
standard and make progress towards a clean energy future for all
Californians.”

“We are very pleased that CVSR is now delivering 22 megawatts of
cost-competitive solar power in San Luis Obispo County, while creating jobs
and economic opportunity for the local community,” said Howard Wenger,
SunPower president, regions. “Once the project is completed next year,
SunPower’s world-leading high-efficiency technology and history of reliable
performance will maximize the solar energy delivered to PG&E’s customers over
the life of the system.”

“The companies have worked very hard with county staff, resource agencies,
environmental organizations and the local community to construct a renewable
energy facility while protecting the unique and sensitive landscape of the
Carrizo Plain,” said Jim Patterson, chairman of the San Luis Obispo County
Board of Supervisors. “We appreciate both the local and global environmental
and economic benefits this project has brought to our county."

NRG has four large-scale solar plants fully or partially operational and three
other projects currently under construction across California, Arizona and New
Mexico, plus several distributed solar projects at locations across the
country. In the U.S., approximately 190 megawatts of large-scale SunPower
plants are operating, with more than 1,000 megawatts under contract.

About NRG and NRG Solar

NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A
Fortune 500 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy
choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power
developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric
vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy
solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating
facilities can support over 20 million homes and our retail electricity
providers—Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus—serve more
than two million customers.

NRG Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NRG, has more than 2,000 MW of photovoltaic and
solar thermal projects under development or in construction across the
southwestern United States. More information is available at
www.nrgenergy.com.

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain
risks, uncertainties and assumptions and include NRG’s expectations regarding
the California Valley Solar Ranch project and forward-looking statements
typically can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,”
“believe,” and similar terms. Although NRG believes that its expectations are
reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to
have been correct, and actual results may vary materially. Factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated above
include, among others, general economic conditions, hazards customary in the
power industry, weather conditions, competition in wholesale power markets,
the volatility of energy and fuel prices, failure of customers to perform
under contracts, changes in the wholesale power markets, changes in government
regulation of markets and of environmental emissions, unanticipated outages at
our generation facilities, the inability to access other financing
arrangements, the inability to implement value enhancing improvements to plant
operations and companywide processes, our ability to create and maintain
successful partnering relationships.

NRG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. The foregoing review of factors that could cause NRG’s actual
results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward-looking
statements included in this news release should be considered in connection
with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect NRG’s
future results included in NRG’s filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission at www.sec.gov.

About SunPower

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest
efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today.
Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s
quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum
return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in
San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia,
Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.

SunPower’s Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking
statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be
based on underlying assumptions. SunPower uses words and phrases such as
"expected," "will" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking
statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements
regarding (a) the construction schedule and budget; (b) energy production; and
(c) SunPower building, operating and maintaining the power system. Such
forward-looking statements are based on information available to SunPower as
of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties,
some beyond SunPower’s control, that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements,
including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) construction difficulties or
potential delays, including obtaining land use rights, permits, license, other
governmental approvals, and transmission access and upgrades, and any
litigation relating thereto; (ii) the risk of continuation of supply of
products and components from suppliers; (iii) unanticipated problems with
deploying the system on the site; and (iv) other risks described in SunPower’s
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 1, 2012, Quarterly
Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended April 1, 2012 and July 1, 2012,
and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These
forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing
SunPower’s views as of any subsequent date, and SunPower is under no
obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter
its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50453622&lang=en

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Contact:

NRG:
Media:
Lori Neuman, 609-524-4525
Dave Knox, 713-537-2130
or
Investors:
Chad Plotkin, 609-524-4526
Stefan Kimball, 609-524-4527
or
SunPower:
Media:
Ingrid Ekstrom, 510-260-8368
iekstrom@sunpowercorp.com
or
Investors:
Bob Okunski, 408-240-5447
bokunski@sunpowercorp.com
 
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