NRG Energy, whose $122.5 million agreement to build a so-called "Electric Expressway" of electric-vehicle charging stations spurred a lawsuit against the state of California by smaller competitor Ecotality, says the agreement will produce about 80 percent more economic activity that it costs and that it doesn't hinder competition.

The agreement, in which $102.5 million will be paid to NRG to build the charging stations and $20 million will be provided to state residents in the form of ratepayer refunds, will spur more than $185 million in economic activity and will create more than 1,500 jobs throughout the most populous U.S. state, NRG said, citing a study it commissioned to be written by Solution Mountain.

The company, in a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), also said that "any industry participant remains free to compete for every potential EV charging site in California, and nothing in the Settlement Agreement restrains that competition."

NRG is planning to build at least 200 so-called Freedom Station EV chargers that will be able to deploy electricity at a rate fast enough to provide an EV with 50 miles of electric driving in as little as 15 minutes.
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NRG INVESTMENT IN CALIFORNIA EV CHARGING STATIONS TO CREATE MORE THAN 1,500 LOCAL JOBS

--Benefits to California to flow once agreement is finalized--

PRINCETON, N.J., May 29, 2012--The planned $102.5 million investment by NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in California will create more than 1,500 jobs in the Los Angeles Basin, San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and San Diego County regions, according to a study by Solution Mountain commissioned by NRG.

The study found that NRG's initial $102.5 million investment will create a gross output of more than $185 million when the employment and procurement of goods and services are factored together, equating to an additional $83.3 million in indirect economic activity by 2016.
Click here to download a PDF of the full report.

"We are excited to be both helping to build out the California EV infrastructure, which will help give range confidence to EV drivers, while also contributing to the California economy through job creation and infrastructure spending," said Terry O'Day, NRG Director of California Business Development. "Our commitment to California through this investment will directly benefit consumers, as well as other businesses that will be able to grow due to a more robust EV infrastructure and the greater EV adoption it will help create."

The more than 1,500 jobs created by build-out of the EV Freedom Station and make ready sites will be spread across numerous sectors, including charger station technology, station construction, and specialized design, advertising and marketing services.

NRG will build a minimum of 200 Freedom Station sites as part of the project, installations that include DC chargers that can deliver 50 miles of charge in as little as 15 minutes. The Company will also build a minimum of 10,000 "make-readies" - parking spaces retrofitted to with the wiring necessary to host future EV charging at locations such as multifamily buildings, workplaces and universities, hospitals and other civic sties.

"This study helps show additional benefits of this infrastructure to California," said O'Day. "Pending Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of the agreement, we will be able to release more project details, including the locations of the first Freedom Station sites and make ready installations."

Solution Mountain used the industry-accepted IMPLAN model to evaluate the economic and job-creation benefits of investment. The full report can be found at here.

About Solution Mountain, Inc
Since 2003, the principals of Solution Mountain, Inc. have prepared hundreds of economic impact reports for state agencies, cities, counties, economic development districts and private corporations. Each report is based on IMPLAN data sets specific to the project's location and unique industry sectors. Solution Mountain, Inc. is a technology partner for the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED). Robert Gilmore, CEO of Solution Mountain is the recipient of the Ford Foundation's Award for Innovations in American Government and the Council of State Government's Award for Innovation.

About NRG
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 more than 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers - Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus - serve more than two million customers. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com.