President and Chief Executive Officer at NRG Energy
Thank you, Kevin. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for your interest in NRG. I'm joined this morning by Alberto Fornaro, Chief Financial Officer; and also on the call and available for questions, we have Elizabeth Killinger, Head of Home; Rob Gaudette, Head of Business and Market Operations; and Chris Moser, Head of Competitive Markets on policy.
I'd like to start on Slide 4 by highlighting the three key messages for today's presentation. First, our business delivered strong results in the first quarter, and we are maintaining our 2022 guidance ranges. Second, we are well positioned going into the summer with a balanced risk management strategy designed to provide stability through volatile market conditions. And finally, we continue to advance our strategic growth priorities, moving closer to the customer while being excellent stewards of your capital.
Moving to the first quarter results on Slide 5, we delivered top best I/O safety performance and $509 million of adjusted EBITDA. This result is in line with the first quarter of last year when adjusted for asset sales and the outage of Limestone. But when including supply chain constraints and higher ancillaries, it is a very strong result, driven by our core operations.
The Limestone power plant in Texas returned to service in April, on time, on budget and ready for the summer. I want to thank the operations team for completing this project on schedule despite a difficult supply chain backdrop.
Now moving to direct energy integration, we are reaffirming both 2022 and the full planned targets. As part of our capital-light strategy, we have now signed 2.6 gigawatts of renewable PPAs in ERCOT with 45% currently in service and the remaining expected to come online over the next couple of years. These assets are geographically diverse within Texas and have an average tenure of 12 years. We will continue to execute on this strategy and grow our renewable PPAs. But I do expect the development of renewable projects to slow down in the near term, given supply chain constraints and regulatory uncertainty.
Finally, we are executing on our $1 billion share buyback program, which Alberto will provide additional details. And we are maintaining our 2022 adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow before growth guidance ranges. Over the past few months, we all have seen the significant increase in energy prices, particularly natural gas.
I want to take a moment to discuss how our business is positioned to navigate through these volatile market conditions on Slide 6, beginning on the left-hand side of the slide with our hedge tables for this year and next year. As you can see, we are well hedged against our expected load with a combination of our own generation portfolio and third-party hedges. This is by design as it also allows us to maintain predictable and stable margins while mitigating the impact of short-term market volatility for our customers. As a matter of fact, this is probably one of the biggest benefits of competitive markets. Retail companies that hedged can mitigate the impact of short-term market disruptions for their customers.
In the medium to long term, our platform is uniquely positioned to manage structural changes in commodity prices. We have a proven commercial team that manages commodity price risk across our portfolio, all the way from our power plants to our retail brands, providing them with significant visibility on the fundamentals of our core markets. On the retail side, our pricing team has significant insights on price elasticity, given the scale and scope of our customer base.
And finally, we have a multibrand, multichannel, multiproduct strategy that ensures we're tailoring solutions for each customer segment, while balancing customer retention and margins. We continue to execute on our five-year growth road map and are making great progress across many of our initiatives, as you can see on Slide 7.
On our last earnings call, I provided an overview of all the solutions and capabilities currently available and in development for our customers in two areas: energy services and home services. Today, I want to focus on 1 area of growth that I'm especially excited about, energy resilience. Goal Zero is our home energy resilience and storage company that has been part of NRG since 2014. When we acquired the company, their primary focus was to serve a niche market of outdoor enthusiasts. And while they were a market leader in that space, the total addressable market was limited. Recognizing that extreme weather events and power outages were only going to increase, given climate change and an aging power grid, we shifted the company's strategy to address energy resilience head on.
Today, Goal Zero's energy resilience products are clean, accessible and affordable. Their power stations and solar generators are modular and portable, meaning they can provide resilience to any apartment, residential home or recreational vehicle of any size, something a gas generator or rooftop solar system cannot do. They're also scalable, enabling customers to design a resilient solution that can expand in the future, therefore, balancing budget and need. Importantly, these products cost a fraction of what a standby genset or rooftop solar system cost fully installed, which allows us to serve an even broader customer base, and they require minimal installation. These are just some of the reasons why customers love Goal Zero products, giving them a Net Promoter Score above 70, a meeting that is typically reserved for best-in-class brands.
In the last three years, Goal Zero has grown revenue at a 50% CAGR and gross margin of around 40%. While the overall revenue and gross margin of the business today remains small compared to the core operating platform, the energy resilience market is expected to grow at 50% CAGR through 2025, and we expect Goal Zero to grow along with it, and this is before considering external factors that could potentially drive growth even higher. For example, last December, California announced a ban on gas generator sales beginning in 2028. Such policy decisions by local and state governments will only increase demand for Goal Zero's products.
The team is already working on the next generation of solar powered generators that will launch in 2023 with a focus on storage technology upgrades, enhanced home integration and a better digital customer experience. I look forward to providing you updates on their progress as we bring new products to market and integrate these solutions closer with our core energy offerings.
So with that, I will pass it over to Alberto for the financial review.