July 27, 2018 Read More →

Corporate sector demand for renewable energy remains strong

GreenBiz:

While the pace of announced corporate renewable energy contracts slowed slightly in the second quarter compared with the first three months of 2018, large companies disclosed deals representing almost 1,500 megawatts of capacity.

So far, big businesses have been involved in 31 transactions for clean power this year (not including onsite generation), the same as for all of 2017, according to data gathered by GreenBiz and the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). Indeed, the aggregate amount of electricity represented by those purchase agreements was only slightly less than last year’s total.

The biggest single U.S. deal of the quarter was announced by AT&T — its 300 MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) covering two wind farms in Texas brings the total capacity of contracts announced this year by the telecommunications giant to a whopping 820 MW.

The second largest contract of the second quarter came outside the United States. Facebook’s 294 MW transaction for three contiguous Norwegian wind farms with asset manager Luxcara represents its biggest European deal to date. The project, when it becomes operational in the fourth quarter of 2019, will add more than 1 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity to Norway’s grid on an annual basis.

The second quarter also brought a milestone for utility renewable energy programs, with Georgia Power’s deal to bring online 177 MW of solar electricity in order to satisfy the clean power procurement requirements of four large companies: Google; Walmart; Target; and Johnson & Johnson. The arrangement was made possible through the approval of the utility’s 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which committed the utility to adding 1.6 GW of new solar, wind and other renewable resources by 2021. The commitments by the group of four were necessary to help keep prices stable for other Georgia Power customers.

The second quarter also demonstrated that creative arrangements for smaller chunks of capacity are becoming more common, said Kevin Haley, program manager for BRC. “More developers are willing to work with the corporate buyer to make things happen,” he said. “We see the market evolving to accommodate.”

More: Clean energy deal tracker: AT&T, Facebook and Walmart stand out in another strong quarter

 

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