News & Stories

The Plurality of "The Next Big Thing"

The following is a sponsered story from NRG Energy

In the energy business today, just as in fashion, sports or nearly any industry, a competetive strategy means focusing on the next big thing - whether it is a new gadget, new style, or in the case of energy, something new that transforms our interactions with electricity. 

(There's no one technique for creating innovation when it comes to the electricity sector)

We live in an age where what is "new" can steal the spotlight from what actually works or is truly effective. It is often the nature of business to be on a constant quest for that one new innovation, with the hope and promise to supersede all that has come before. Innovation is core to NRG. We do not discount the potential of what is to come but we also believe that meaningful transformation can be achieved by finding new ways to use the resources at our disposal today. 

In the energy world, there currently is a range of approaches, tools and technologies that effectively and sustainably help transform energy use. The challenge - and the opportunity - is tailoring those solutions to work for an organization's unique needs.

Of course, it would be a lot simpler if one technology could transform everyone's energy future. But that is not the reality we live in. We don't drive one kind of car, eat one kind of food, live in one kind of city - so why would we think there would be one energy solution that works for all?

When it comes to the energy future, "the next big thing" is actually a series of things: an understanding of innovation; a deep awareness of energy needs; and an ability to implement multifaceted solutions. 

To do this means going on an energy journey - becoming immersed in the detailed objectives of each organization and looking at elements such as demand for power, an organization's current source of power and all of the potential sources of power it could tap into given its geographic location. 

Forward- thinking companies understand that having an open mind and a diverse energy portfolio consisting of proven and dynamic technologies that seamlessly integrate with one another are the next big thing. Not because they are new, different and innovative - but because they can help them to achieve their business, sustainability and energy goals. 

So what does this "next big thing" look like in practice?

sssss For MGM Resorts International, it's an expanded solar array of more than 26,000 photovoltaic panels, producing a combined 8.3 megawatts DC of electricity while meeting 25 percent of the power demand at its Mandalay Bay Resoirt & Casino campus. The end result is a tangible commitment to renewable energy and to pricing stability for the resort itself. 

At the other end of the country, at Princeton HealthCare System's newest facility, "the next big thing" is something altogether different. here, it is a resilency-driven, self-sufficient approach to energy delivered through the use of an onsite combined heat and power plant, producing highly reliable electricity along with steam and chilled water that meets the hospital's needs.

In Minnesota, "the next big thing" means taking the lead on a community solar portfolio that brings renewable power to a range of businesses and residences whose specific locations led them to originally think that solar might not be right for them, or even an option at all. Now, they can all tap into the solar power generated at an offsite location and thereby go solar without putting panels on their own roofs or property.

Cisco found their "next big thing" in a different offsite solar sollution; one that leverages clean, reliable solar power through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) This is a different approach with the same result - one that helps Cisco reach its sustainability goals in a uniquely affordable way. 

Joining in the movement to "green" data centers, NRG helped Skybox to design a build a world- class data center facility, located just outside of Houston along the energy corridor. The facility employs a multi-solution design combining solar, backup generation, demand response and Evavorcool technology that reaches a data center industry-leading measure of energy efficiency. We achieve this client's specific goals while ensuring its system would be developed and engineered for reliability and enhanced enviromental performance. 

At NRG, we understand that focusing on goals - both short-term and long-term, ranging from renewables integration to cost saving initiatives to the need for reliability every day, all day, all year - is what ultimately drive companies, organizations and communities forward. 

When you focus and stay centered on energy needs, you naturally design solutions that will take you down the right path. That might just be the biggest "next big thing" of all.