Tag Archives: corporate buyers of renewable energy

Local artist paints Nebraska’s story into mural at Facebook’s data center in Papillion

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

When employees of the Facebook data center in Papillion go to work each day, they’ll be greeted by a colorful 76-foot mural made by a Nebraskan, for Nebraskans. Created by Omaha native Justin Queal, the mural incorporates themes and images familiar to locals — like a monarch butterfly akin to the ones emblazoned on Papillion’s water towers and an overhead view of crop fields — all set against a backdrop heavy with rich, Husker red. Read more here.

Facebook photo of one section of the mural created by local artist Justin Queal.

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Electricity prices plunge with more renewables, study says

By David Ferris, E&E News, Wyoming Business Report

The study released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory modeled how high penetration of solar and wind power — from 40 to 50 percent — would affect system operators in New York, the Great Plains, California and Texas . . . The study looked at four system operators: the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the California Independent System Operator and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), all of which neatly cover their home states. It also modeled the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which encompasses part or all of five wind-rich states: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Click here to read more.

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Facebook’s Nebraska reach expands

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

Facebook announced today their Nebraska data center will be three times the size of its original announcement. The Papillion data center will be six buildings instead of two with groundbreaking set to begin in May on the additional buildings. Facebook announced last April their plan to build its next data center here and credited the development of OPPD’s Rate 261M as one of the biggest draws. Read the entire blog post.

Facebook’s Press Release: Papillion Data Center Expanding to Six Buildings
Author: Jim Piazza, Director of Data Center Operations, East. Last year, we worked with Omaha Public Power District to create a new renewable energy tariff that ensures we can power our data center with clean and renewable energy. With the tariff in place, we could seek new, in-state wind projects, which we found in Enel Green Power‘s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project. We will now increase our purchase from 200 MW to 320 MW to support our growth, and we are excited to share that we have partnered with Adobe to help them enter the U.S. renewable energy market with Enel; 10 MW of Rattlesnake Creek will be allocated to Adobe.

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Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe, Enel Press Release
The new deal between Enel and Facebook widens the scope of the bundled, long-term power purchase agreement for 200 MW signed in November 2017 to gradually include the plant’s overall output by 2029, following Facebook’s decision to significantly expand its data centre in Papillion, around 120 miles from Rattlesnake Creek. The energy produced by the entire wind farm will enable the expanded data centre to be 100% renewable-powered.

“Powering our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy is not just a goal for Facebook, it is a requirement of our business,” said Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy at Facebook. “The Rattlesnake Creek wind farm will enable us to power our future Papillion Data Center, and fulfills our passion to expand the energy market for other corporate buyers, like Adobe.”

The expansion increases Facebook’s total investment in the Papillion Data Center to $1 billion.

For Iowa, buying local means using renewable energy

By James McCoy, Guest Column, Iowa City Press-Citizen

Promoting economic growth is a major concern across the country. Communities have organizations in place whose main function is to pursue that goal, like chambers of commerce and economic development councils. We have slogans like “buy local” to keep money in local communities where it is recycled through the community stimulating economic growth.  For Iowa, “buy local” means use renewable energy. Our state produces no fossil fuels.  Every dollar we spend on coal, oil and natural gas is a dollar sent out of state we have to work hard to get back into our local economy. Read more here.

James McCoy lives in Iowa City and volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Photo: 650-member Farmers Electric Cooperative Solar Farm located south of Iowa City and north of Kalona.

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Corporates #RocktheGrid by Driving Up Renewable Energy Demand

By Jennifer Runyon, Renewable Energy WorldClick image to link to RMI’s Business Renewables Center.

Power-Gen International Conference Presentation:  In #RocktheGrid – New Market Demand for Renewables, Lily Donge of the Rocky Mountain Institute and head of the Business Renewables Center (BRC), an organization that helps corporations understand how to buy renewable energy, said that this year 16 corporations have signed deals to purchase renewable energy and of those 16, 13 are new, indicating the growing interest. When the BRC was launched in 2015, Donge said they hoped to attract about 50 organizations. Today the BRC has 213 member companies and 47 have signed PPAs for renewable power. Those 47 are driving the growth of more than 8 GW of power. Businesses need the BRC because in general purchasing power is not their core business. (See chart for the list) so the organization arms them with enough information to understand how the power market works and then helps them negotiate a deal. Read more here.

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Google, Biggest Corporate Buyer of Clean Power, Is Buying More

By Brian Eckhouse, From Climate Changed, Bloomberg News 

Google has now signed enough renewables deals to match all of its energy needs this year, though not all the projects are currently operational. The company has agreed to buy 2,397 megawatts of clean power in the U.S. — and 3,186 megawatts overall, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Amazon.com Inc is the second biggest corporate buyer, with 1,219 megawatts, all in the U.S. Read more here.

Photo: The Block Island Wind Farm in the waters off Block Island, Rhode Island.
Credit: Eric Thayer / Bloomberg

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Customer grid defections are a utility branding issue

Sponsored Post by Essense, Utility Dive

For decades, customers regarded electricity as a commodity, and electric utilities as its regional monopoly providers. Fast forward to today, and the landscape is undergoing a tectonic shift.

Companies such as Apple, IKEA and MGM Resorts have made it publicly known that they are now adopting new energy strategies as a core component of their business operations. Others, such as 3M, Dow Chemical and General Motors, have signed renewable PPAs to attain sustainability and/or cost-efficiency goals. Each company’s approach to energy may be unique, but the underlying trend is that the largest and most influential companies are signaling to the marketplace that the days of electricity as an undifferentiated commodity are over. Read more.

 Photo Credit: Fotolia

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Utilities see benefits in energy storage, even without mandates, Utility Dive. Energy storage is moving into prime time for utilities concerned about the ability of their grids to handle intermittent resources.

Amazon Launches Solar Energy Initiative on Fulfillment Center Rooftops

News Release, Business Wire

  • Amazon to install solar systems on 50 fulfillment facility rooftops worldwide by 2020
  • Initial 15 solar installations planned for completion by the end of 2017 will generate up to 41 MW

Click image to watch 47-second video

“As our fulfillment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders,” said Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. “We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability—this is good for the environment, our business and our customers. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win.”

Read the entire media release here.

Additionally, Amazon has expanded its Career Choice program to include funding for associates to earn North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.

To learn more about Amazon’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.amazon.com/sustainability.

Photo by P2 Photography: Aerial view of two Amazon fulfillment facilities with solar systems on their rooftops.