Ninety-four hard hats filed eagerly through the hallways of NRG’s Long Beach generation station last month, cameras poised and questions ready.

“How much electricity is generated here?”

“Does this provide base load or peak load generation?”

And, because they’re teachers, “How do my kids get into careers like this?”

As part of NEED’s annual National Energy Conference for Educators, Tony Cordero, Director of External Affairs at NRG and Ahmed Haque, Director of Asset Management, opened the station’s doors for NEED’s teachers.

The 260 MW plant, repowered in 2007, can meet the energy needs of over 200,000 homes using their four natural gas-fueled units.

With environmentally-friendly enhancements made to the plant, such as best-available emission control technology, and the elimination of ocean water cooling, the plant proved to be an excellent example of what it takes for industry to satisfy environmental requirements.

Teachers were guided from the generators, to the control room, to a small photography collection of the plant’s history (along the way recognizing particular locations from the 2009 Star Trek movie, filmed at the plant).

NRG Energy, Inc. provides almost 10,000 MW for the state of California utilizing an array of sources from solar and wind to fast-start natural gas and they’ve been the pioneer of many large-scale operations—like turning Levi’s Stadium into a solar generator large enough to power an entire season’s home games! Who better to show our energy-enthused guests around California?

The NRG and NEED relationship is growing. NRG and NEED both believe in the value of energy education and in getting kids and teachers excited about learning and teaching about energy. NRG’s support of NEED provides classroom curriculum, kits and training to over 300 schools each year. In California, workshops are provided across the state from north to south. This year, NRG brings NEED workshops to Pointe Coupee Parish Schools in Louisiana too. NRG believes in NEED; and we’re thankful for their support!

In fact, in 2015, NRG’s Global Giving program selected NEED to be their non-profit partner for their Battle of the Regions competition and silent auction. This exciting event took place over a few days in Scottsdale, Arizona in May and culminated in sporting competitions, softball, volleyball, and an auction. Jennifer Brunelle, NRG’s Director of Global Giving, announced that NEED would be the recipient of the funds generated from the auction and the Battle of the Regions competition and that NRG Global Giving would match those funds.

And…. Drum roll please…. NRG donated a total of $75,740 to NEED for our programs nationwide! This is HUGE for NEED and all our teachers and students are excited about the contribution.

Many thanks to the NRG team that supports NEED and the work we do! Special thanks go to:

John Chillemi
Jennifer Brunelle
Tony Cordero
Ahmed Haque
Jennifer Vosburg