Item 1 — Business
NRG Energy, Inc., or NRG or the Company, is an integrated competitive power company, which produces, sells and delivers energy and energy products and services in major competitive power markets in the U.S. while positioning itself as a leader in the way residential, industrial and commercial consumers think about and use energy products and services. NRG has one of the nation's largest and most diverse competitive generation portfolios balanced with the nation's largest competitive retail energy business. The Company owns and operates approximately 50,000 MW of generation; engages in the trading of wholesale energy, capacity and related products; transacts in and trades fuel and transportation services; and directly sells energy, services, and innovative, sustainable products and services to retail customers under the names “NRG”, "Reliant" and other retail brand names owned by NRG. NRG was incorporated as a Delaware corporation on May 29, 1992.
NRG's strategy is to maximize stockholder value through the production and sale of safe, reliable and affordable power to its customers in the markets served by the Company, while positioning the Company to meet the market's increasing demand for sustainable, low carbon and customized energy solutions for the benefit of the end-use energy consumer. This strategy is intended to enable the Company to achieve substantial sustainable growth at reasonable margins while de-risking the Company in terms of reduced and mitigated exposure both to environmental risk and cyclical commodity price risk. At the same time, the Company's relentless commitment to safety for its employees, customers and partners continues unabated.
To effectuate the Company’s strategy, NRG is focused on: (i) excellence in operating performance of its existing assets including repowering its power generation assets at premium sites and optimal hedging of generation assets and retail load operations; (ii) serving the energy needs of end-use residential, commercial and industrial customers in competitive markets through multiple brands and channels with a variety of retail energy products and services differentiated by innovative features, premium service, sustainability, and loyalty/affinity programs; (iii) investing in, and deploying, alternative energy technologies both in its wholesale portfolio through its wind and solar portfolio and, particularly, in and around its retail businesses and its customers as it transforms this part of its business into a technology-driven provider of retail energy services; and (iv) engaging in a proactive capital allocation plan focused on achieving the regular return of and on stockholder capital within the dictates of prudent balance sheet management; including pursuing selective acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures and investments. The Company is currently executing several key initiatives in connection with its capital allocation plan as further described in Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis.
The Company’s core businesses include wholesale conventional generation and B2B solutions (included in the NRG Business segment), retail electricity including personal power solutions (included in the NRG Home Retail segment), contracted generation owned by NRG Yield, Inc. (included in the NRG Yield segment) and all other renewable utility scale and distributed generation that is not otherwise owned by NRG Yield, Inc. (included in the NRG Renew segment). In addition, the Company specifically identifies Home Solar as a separate business (included in the NRG Home Solar segment).
The Company’s wholesale power generation business includes the Company's wholesale operations including plant operations, commercial operations, EPC, energy services and other critical related functions. In addition to the traditional functions, the wholesale power generation business also includes NRG’s B2B solutions, which include demand response, commodity sales, energy efficiency and energy management services, and NRG’s conventional distributed generation business, consisting of reliability, combined heat and power, thermal and district heating and cooling and large-scale distributed generation.
The wholesale generation business is capital-intensive and commodity-driven with numerous industry participants that compete on the basis of the location of their plants, fuel mix, plant efficiency and the reliability of the services offered. The Company has one of the largest and most diversified power generation portfolios in the U.S., with approximately 44,642 MW of fossil fuel and nuclear generation capacity at 90 plants as of December 31, 2015. The Company's power generation assets are diversified by fuel-type, dispatch level and region, which helps mitigate the risks associated with fuel price volatility and market demand cycles. NRG's U.S. baseload and intermediate facilities provide the Company with a significant source of cash flow, while its peaking facilities provide NRG with opportunities to capture significant upside potential that can arise during periods of high demand, which typically drive higher energy prices.