Cutting-edge companies like NRG Energy, Jones Lang LaSalle, SAP, VF Corp. and Starbucks confront climate change. (Lauralee Martin of Jones Lang LaSalle)
By Anne Field|August 01, 2011 at 08:00 PM
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NRG wasn’t always focused on clean and renewable energy. But 20 years after it was spun off from Northern States Power in Minnesota, the $9 billion, Princeton, N.J.-based independent power producer’s business model has an unusual emphasis on diverse sources of energy, ranging from coal and natural gas to solar and wind.
NRG Energy started in the 1980s as a co-generation company and affiliate of Northern States Power. Then Northern States took advantage of a recently passed law encouraging utilities to buy energy from other power producers and used NRG to acquire power plants around the country, picking up around 12,000 megawatts (MW) of power in about two years. In 1992, NRG was incorporated. But buying all those plants sunk it into debt and in 2003 the company declared bankruptcy.
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