Princeton, New Jersey [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Among the signs that U.S. wind power is moving into the mainstream is growing interest by mainstream energy and financial companies in the industry. This week the broad-based energy company NRG Energy announced plans to acquire Padoma Wind Power, one of the U.S. industry’s leading project developers.Padoma’s principals have more than 80 years of combined experience in the development, technical integration, financing, construction and operation of utility-scale wind energy facilities. Together, they have led the development, financing, construction and operation of more than 40 wind farms in the U.S. and Europe comprising more than 1,300 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. Padoma currently has three projects under active development independently, in addition to a pipeline of more than a dozen wind projects, which it is developing in conjunction with third parties. The projects under development are in nine states including California and Texas and are expected to bring another 1,000 MW of new wind-based generation to market by 2015. NRG’s acquisition of Padoma is part of “ecoNRG,” the company’s ongoing and extensive environmental business effort, targeted at reducing NRG’s environmental footprint. “Acquiring Padoma is consistent with NRG’s multi-fuel strategy and provides us with immediate access to industry-leading expertise and a robust project pipeline in our core markets,” said David Crane, NRG’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With Padoma, NRG is well-positioned to meet the demand for renewable energy sources, while also reducing our own carbon intensity and providing financial upside opportunities through the expansion of our energy services offering.” “In spite of the finite resources we have had at our disposal to date, Padoma has achieved significant success in the U.S. renewables industry over the past five years,” said Jan Paulin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Padoma. “However, with the dramatic increase in growth opportunities in the renewable industry, successful wind development companies are those which leverage off the resources and capabilities of a strategic partner while retaining their nimble decision-making capability. As one of the leading independent power-generation companies in the United States and as one which understands development, NRG is the right company to help us build on our success on both counts.” The undisclosed transaction will be funded with cash on hand and is expected to close by the end of July 2006, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Padoma will maintain its headquarters in La Jolla, California, and will operate as a subsidiary of NRG.