Tag Archives: Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs)

Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy, Advancing its Climate Pledge Commitment to be Net-zero Carbon by 2040

Amazon News Release, Business Wire

Amazon today announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy. In the U.S., Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. Read more here.

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IN NEBRASKA

Renewable Energy Resources

Trade Association Reports 

ENERGY TRANSITION ANALYSES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST 

  • Most of America’s dirty power plants will be ready to retire by 2035, Grist
    A new analysis published in the journal Science last week offers a potential roadmap for the incoming Biden administration to manage the wind-down of all fossil fuels plants, not just coal plants, more systematically. Even better, it shows that shutting down the nation’s fossil fuel–burning power plants in the next 15 years to achieve Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 isn’t as economically risky as previously thought. 

    Emily Grubert, a civil engineer and environmental sociologist at Georgia Tech and the author of the study, mapped out every coal-, gas-, or petroleum-powered generator running in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data was available. Grubert found that there’s already about 100 gigawatts worth of infrastructure past its prime, including a coal-fired generator in Nebraska from 1915. 

Advanced macro grid initiative announced in US

By Jean Haggerty, PV Magazine

The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid are launching the Macro Grid Initiative to improve the country’s balkanized electricity transmission system and better integrate low-cost renewable energy. Breakthrough Energy, an organization that Bill Gates formed in 2015 to expand clean energy investment and innovation, will provide substantial funding for the initiative. “To respond to the challenge of climate change, we need ambitious investments in our electrical grid. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are booming, moving us toward a carbon-free future,” said Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

News Release: Macro Grid Initiative Launches to Expand and Upgrade America’s Transmission Network

The R-Project in Nebraska: You can learn more about NPPD’s construction of the 345,000-volt transmission line and stay informed on the latest R-Project information here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW JERSEY’S WIND PORT & THE STATE’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY COMMITMENT

UNILEVER’S HOLISTIC CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Unilever unveils climate and nature fund worth more than $1 billionGreenBiz
Unilever CEO Alan Jope emphasized the company intended to eschew a sustainability strategy that focused on emissions alone and instead take a holistic approach. “Climate change, nature degradation, biodiversity decline, water scarcity — all these issues are interconnected, and we must address them all simultaneously,” he said.

RE100: Unilever is one of 241 RE100 companies that have made a commitment to go 100% renewable. An increasing number of them are also working with their supply chains to help the companies purchase renewable energy for their own operations, providing an exponential boost to its deployment. Read about the actions RE100 businesses are taking and why here.

REIT HOSTS ROOFTOP COMMUNITY SOLAR 

Duke Realty Set To Become New Jersey’s Largest Community Solar Host, Duke Realty News
Duke Realty, the largest domestic-only, pure-play logistics property REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) in the United States, has announced it will host solar projects covering nearly 1 million square feet of roof space across four of its New Jersey industrial sites through a partnership with Solar Landscape. The Clean Energy Act of 2018 established a statewide Community Solar Program in New Jersey. The pilot program allows property owners to lease their rooftops or land to solar developers to construct large solar projects that power their communities. The pilot program is being rolled out over three years.

Operating expenses are down and useful lifespans are up on utility-scale solar projects

By Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World

The expected useful life of utility-scale solar PV projects has increased over time, while anticipated operating expenditures (OpEx) have decreased, according to new research from Berkeley Lab. Findings are detailed in a new paper: “Benchmarking Utility-Scale PV Operational Expenses and Project Lifetimes: Results from a Survey of U.S. Solar Industry Professionals.”

Useful life and OpEx are important (but sometimes overlooked) drivers of the levelized cost and profitability of utility-scale PV plants. This paper draws on a survey of U.S. solar industry professionals and other sources to clarify trends in these cost factors. Key findings include: Continue reading here.

TAX CREDITS EXTENSION

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

Previously Posted Resource On Virtual PPAs
Introduction to the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, Rocky Mountain Institute Report
This report serves as an introduction to the virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA)—its place in the off-site renewable energy procurement market, how the VPPA works, and why VPPAs have been a popular instrument in the United States thus far. 

RECYCLING MARKET REPORT

Solar Panel Recycling Market, Transparency Market Research
An increased number of end-of-life solar panels are creating a demand for recycling activities in the U.S. Moreover, analysts of Transparency Market Research (TMR) opine that the U.S. is anticipated to account for the highest number of end-of-life solar panels in the upcoming decades after China. Hence, companies in the solar panel recycling market are focusing on value-grab opportunities in the U.S. As such, the market is estimated to reach a value of ~US$ 600 Mn by the end of 2027.

Commentary: With battery technology ready, regulatory framework must catch up

By Rafael Esteban, CEO of Acciona’s energy division in the
United States and Canada, Energy News Network

The energy sector sits on the cusp of a truly transformative change: Utility-scale ready battery storage technology has arrived. As is with the case with many disruptive technologies, before reaping the benefits of energy storage — which are many — we need modernization of the regulatory framework. This work is well underway. In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 841, requiring regional energy agencies to adopt rules for energy storage.

According to the order, rules must allow energy storage to participate in the wholesale, retail and capacity markets. Then came FERC order 845, which asked for interconnection standards and clarity on how storage would participate in capacity markets. Across the nation, regional transmission organizations and independent system operators are developing plans to come into compliance with this order. Interestingly, the pitched battles at FERC around policies for fossil fuels and renewable energy have been absent from discussions about storage. Read more here.

Previously Posted 

  • ACCIONA acquires 3,000 MW in photovoltaic projects being developed in the USA, Acciona News Release, October 21, 2019. ACCIONA today announced the signature of an agreement with the [Nebraska-based] company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in seven states across the country.
  • ACCIONA buys solar + storage on a national scale, PV Magazine
    The Spanish company has purchased 3 GW of solar projects and 1 GW of solar + storage from developer Tenaska, with all of the projects concentrated in non-traditional solar markets.
  • The Midwest’s solar future will be unlike anything seen before, PV Magazine
    Fitch Solutions Marco Research has boldly predicted the region will be a main driver towards the 100 GW of solar power capacity expected to hit the U.S. over the next 10 years. The procurement will be led by city and utility commitments to renewable energy, the falling costs of solar and the continued expansion of popular community solar programs.

Acciona & Tenaska Job Opportunities

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREEN CAMPUSES

These Pa. colleges are going all in on renewable energy — with a little help from a Texas solar farm, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Four Pennsylvania schools have teamed up to support a Texas solar farm that will supply them with “virtual” renewable energy, joining a trend among institutions of higher education to address climate change. Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Muhlenberg College and Dickinson College announced the partnership Monday to collectively purchase solar power. They signed a virtual power-purchase agreement to support production from a 45.9-megawatt share of a new 200-acre solar farm that will be built at an undisclosed location [in] Texas. The schools announced the agreement at Second Nature’s 2020 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Atlanta.

NEW INITIATIVE ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE

Inside Bill Weihl’s quest to give employees and job seekers a ‘ClimateVoice’, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

ClimateVoice, launched this weekend at the ClimateCAP conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the brainchild of Bill Weihl, who led Facebook’s sustainability team until leaving the company in 2018. Prior to that, he served as Google’s “energy czar” during the early days of that company’s ambitious clean-energy push. Weihl’s new initiative is aimed at activating college students and rank-and-file employees to persuade their current or would-be employers to take a public stand on federal, state and local initiatives that address the climate crisis.

NEW ENVIRONMENT AMERICA REPORT

New report provides roadmap to achieve carbon-free transportation, Environment America News Release

A new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group describes how we can build a zero-carbon transportation future – all while cleaning our air and creating safer, healthier communities. Entitled Destination: Zero Carbon: Three strategies to transform transportation in America, the report looks at the factors underlying high transportation emissions, and proposes new policy solutions. Americans drive more than 10,000 miles a year on average, often in inefficient gas-burning vehicles. Poor public transit and unsafe conditions for walking or biking leave many Americans with few good low-carbon transportation options.

EV NEWS

Inside Clean Energy: Tesla Gets Ever So Close to 400 Miles of Range, Inside Climate News
The increased range is a step toward bringing EVs—and their contribution to combating climate change—into the mainstream.

Publicly owned utilities ‘not a panacea’ but can produce customer benefits

By Tom Perkins, Energy News Network

As California officials consider a public takeover of PG&E, the concept has already shown results in other places.

OPPD’s [Eric] Williams said he agrees that the public model is “not a panacea,” and said OPPD is contending with legacy costs and long-term investments. But the public model is better suited to respond to the public’s growing demand for clean energy, he added, in part because there aren’t layers between the policymakers and customers, as there are with investor-owned utilities, state governments, and utility commissions.

“At OPPD, board members are directed by customer-owners to meet the needs as we’re setting policy,” he said. “Quite frankly, if the customer-owners don’t feel the board is doing what’s best, then there’s a direct mechanism for them to respond — the next election.” Read the entire article here.

Also Published by Energy News Network

Nebraska Also In The News Here

Hormel Wraps up Solar Project at California Meat Production Facility, Twin Cities Business Magazine
In April, Hormel announced a purchase power agreement with Kinect Energy Group for an upcoming wind farm in Nebraska. Once that project is completed, Hormel’s nationwide operations will be powered by 50 percent renewable energy, according to the company.

Previously Posted

Photo Credit: Oran Viriyincy / Flickr / Creative Commons

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. Announces Wind Construction Project Award in Nebraska

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives Press Release, Globe Newswire

The award is for construction of the Thunderhead Wind Project in Antelope and Wheeler counties in Nebraska. The project will consist of 108 GE turbines with 300 megawatts of capacity. The power will be delivered into the Nebraska electrical grid. Work on the project began in November with completion scheduled for September 2020. The scope of IEA’s work includes construction of project access roads and turbine foundations, as well as erection of the turbines. Read more here.

Previously Posted: AT&T set to buy power output from new northeast Nebraska wind farm, News Channel Nebraska

Photo Credit: Invenergy

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

RE100 UPDATE: 216 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

RE100 ANNUAL REPORT

 

 

Going 100% renewable: how committed companies are demanding a faster market response

 


ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

NEW PV MAGAZINE US SENIOR EDITOR: PV Magazine announces veteran industry journalist, Eric Wesoff, as US senior editor

TIME-OF-USE RATES: Survey: Customer education needed for time-of-use rates to be successful, Energy News Network

SOLAR SCHOOLS: Editorial: PPAs offer a financial bright side for our schools, Richmond.com

CIRCULAR ECONOMY: The circular economy can be a holistic approach to addressing climate change, GreenBiz

NATIONAL CLIMATE BANK ACT: National Climate Bank initiative could be a boon for solar, PV Magazine. A companion bill to the National Climate Bank Act is expected to be introduced in the House, which could provide a huge boon to the solar and the solar plus storage markets.

CLIMATE RISKS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Study: Solar Tariffs Cause Devastating Harm to U.S. Market, Economy and Jobs
Tariffs on imported solar cells and modules have led to the loss of more than 62,000 U.S. jobs and $19 billion in new private sector investment, according to a market impact analysis released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The US Remains the Market to Beat for Corporate Renewable Purchases

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The U.S. made up the majority of last year’s deals, accounting for 8.5 gigawatts of the global total. That trend holds this year, with companies in the U.S. signing up for nearly 6 gigawatts, or 70 percent of deals worldwide. Texas accounts for 40 percent of U.S. activity this year, thanks to its rich wind and solar resources and deregulated electricity market. While wind has dominated the corporate renewables market in years past, solar is beginning to catch up, as Greentech Media has covered. Of the various types of corporate deals, virtual power purchase agreements remain the default choice for many customers, allowing them to circumvent utilities and the green tariff programs they offer. BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison said the U.S. has reached “triple digits when it comes to virtual PPAs.”  Read more here.

Previously Posted Virtual Power Purchase Agreements

ALSO IN THE NEWS

BNEF: Corporations signed contracts for 8.6 GW of clean energy in 2019

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering

U.S. corporations bought 5.95 GW of clean energy in 2019, closing in on the 2018 total, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) recently published, 2H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook. The report shows that companies are once again flocking to Texas – historically the largest corporate procurement market in the country – where 40% of the activity in 2019 has occurred. However, just 1 GW of deals in the U.S. have come from green tariffs with regulated utilities. It is unlikely to reach the 2.6 GW seen in all of 2018.

This may be a result of buyer apprehension, as several companies have been involved in highly publicized legal battles with regulated utilities over clean energy buying. Companies are instead favoring the virtual PPA model, which has made up 82% of all U.S. deals in 2019. Read more here.

Resources for Businesses


RE100:
191 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands.

 

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers,
World Resources Institute

 

Save the Date!
September 12, 2019 at 7 pm – Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director, UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 & 205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.

Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

GreenBiz Webcasts

Climate Courage—Cities and States Matter, Too

Across America, local governments are leading the way with some of the
most progressive transitions in the nation.

Contributed Opinion by Frances Moore LappéZachary Field, Common Dreams

More than one in five Americans—that’s over 70 million of us—now live in a place committed to 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity—including 131 towns and cities, seven states and Puerto Rico. The seven states already committed to carbon-neutral electricity—including two of the top nine carbon-emitters, California and New York—representing 14 percent of national emissions in 2016. With new clean-electricity bills being introduced in blue states such as MassachusettsNew Jersey and Illinois, further progress is expected soon. Moreover, the clean-electricity transition is hardly limited to liberal bastions. Continue reading here.

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

VIRTUAL POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Q&A: How Akamai, VPPAs Are Paving the Way for a Corporate Clean Energy Future, sponsored content by Akamai, Sustainable Brands. Akamai, which has committed to power the internet more sustainably, took part in the US’ first corporate aggregated VPPA — a game-changing approach for smaller renewable energy buyers.

Save the Date!
Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director, September 12, 2019, 7 to 8:30 pm, UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 & 205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.

Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

Mondelez International Signs VPPA for 65 MW from Texas Solar Farm

By Alyssa Danigelis, Energy Manager Today

Mondelez International signed a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Enel Green Power North America for a 65-MW portion of the renewable company’s Roadrunner solar farm in Texas. EGPNA has been on a roll. Last year saw Starbucks and Kohler signing agreements as well as Facebook and Adobe snapping up energy from the 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm. Late last year, Enel’s Hill Topper wind farm in Illinois began operations. Then the Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska started operations in January. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Enel Green Power

Previously Posted Virtual Power Purchase Agreements

Resources

Renewable Energy Aggregation & Purchase Agreements

Educational Opportunities