Green Mountain Energy Company

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{{#badges: Climate change |CoalSwarm}} Green Mountain Energy Company was founded in 1997 by Green Mountain Power, a Vermont utility, and Sam Wyly, a Texas billionaire who described himself to The New York Times as "a monomaniac with one goal: clean air from clean energy." Within three years, Wyly -- who was also a friend and major campaign contributor to former President George W. Bush -- spent $2.5 million on ads praising then-Governor Bush's environmental record. In response, the Environmental Working Group called for a boycott of the company in 2000. The boycott was later withdrawn and an Environmental Working Group spokesman said the organization no longer has a position on the company. Wyly and his family eventually invested $100 million in Green Mountain over the years, and the company moved from Vermont to Austin, Texas just after a 2000 investment from oil giant BP. By then it had become GreenMountain.[1]

In September 2010, BP and the rest of Green Mountain Energy's owners sold their stakes in the company to NRG Energy, one of the country's largest power plant operators, for $350 million. The deal became final on Nov. 5, 2010. In joining NRG, Green Mountain becomes part of a company that derives the vast majority of its electricity and income from fossil fuels. Wyly's stake in the company -- including son Evan Wyly's seat on the company's board -- came to an end with the NRG purchase. As of the acquisition, all of Green Mountain's profits now belong to NRG.[1]

For every watt of energy that customers use, Green Mountain says it buys an equal amount of power from wind and hydroelectric plants. (Directing power from specific generating plants to specific customers on the local electric grid, the company emphasizes, is impossible.) The power that Green Mountain buys, spokeswoman Marci Grossman said, will come both from NRG's plants and from independent water and wind plants with which the company already has long-term contracts.[1]

On December 14, 2010, NRG bought a planned 290-megawatt photovoltaic farm from thin-film solar module maker First Solar, agreeing to pour up to $800 million into the Yuma County, Arizona, project. The Agua Caliente power plant will supply electricity to California utility PG&E under a 25-year contract. The deal followed NRG's agreement to buy SunPower's 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch photovoltaic project on the state's central coast for $450 million. That solar power plant will also supply electricity to PG&E. In October 2010, NRG said it would invest $300 million investment in BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah solar thermal power plant now under construction in the Southern California desert, for combined investment of $1.6 billion into solar over the period of a few months.[2]

Board

Accessed June 2010: [3]

Contact

URL: http://www.greenmountainenergy.com

Resources and articles

Cached critiques

It seems as if there are numerous websites critical of Green Mountain Energy, but they are hard to find through a standard websearch, due to blocking or error messages, etc... For example www.boycottgreenmountain.org can be found through the cached google page search, but the current site is unavailable. Likewise, the EAC site: http://www.penweb.org/issues/energy/green2.html is blocked/unaccessible.

Related Sourcewatch

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jake Mooney, "How green is Green Mountain Energy?" Grist, Nov. 23, 2010.
  2. Todd Woody, "Fossil fuel giant is betting on a bright future in solar" Grist, Dec. 15, 2010.
  3. Directors, , accessed June 11, 2010.

customer reviews[2]