NRG Energy Inc. has bought $35 million of additional stock in FuelCell Energy Inc. and extended a $40 million loan to aid the power-plant developer in completing several projects, the company announced yesterday. FuelCell is working with the NRG team and has developed a “strong pipeline” of combined heat and power projects. “These agreements strengthen the Company’s liquidity position and are expected to accelerate deployment of multi-megawatt fuel cell projects in the U.S.,” said Chip Bottone, FuelCell’s chief executive officer. NRG now owns about 17 million shares of FuelCell Energy, or 6% of the company. This includes 2.4 million shares it previously owned.
"We want to actively participate in the construction of FuelCell Energy power plants in order to promote choice and meet the specific needs of our existing and future customers," said Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG's chief operating officer, in a statement.
The shares were sold at the Tuesday July 29th closing price of $2.39 each, the company said. Terms of the transaction include NRG's right to purchase an additional 2 million shares at $3.35 per share. FuelCell shares rallied 12% last week on news the German government had awarded a 5 million euro grant, or $6.7 million, to FuelCell and a German partner to develop cheaper fuel cells.
FuelCell builds and operates power plants that are used as a source of back-up power by telecommunications and information-technology companies, as well as on-site 'mini' power plants used by factories. The company's shares have gained 106% in the past 12 months, and 11% in the past three months.