Corporate PPAs

Corporate PPAs

February 20, 2018 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Corporate PPAs are on the increase again.

The Rocky Mountain Institute reports that 2,850 megawatts of power purchase agreements were signed with corporate buyers through December 5, 2017, up from 1,610 megawatts in 2016, but down from 3,260 megawatts in 2015.

Buyers in 2017 included Google, Facebook, General Motors, Kimberly Clark, Anheuser-Busch/InBev, JPMorgan, Cummins, Akamai Technologie, Target, Goldman Sachs, General Mills, Apple, T-Mobile, DeAcero, Solvay, Partners Healthcare and PayPal.

JPMorgan became one of the first banks to sign a PPA when it entered into a 20-year contract to buy electricity from a 100-megawatt wind farm owned by NRG.

Some developers are using green tariffs to arrange sales to corporations. Seventeen green tariffs have been adopted or proposed in 13 states. Most allow a company to arrange through its local utility to buy electricity from a particular renewable energy facility.

Globally, 5,400 megawatts of corporate PPAs were signed in 2017, with 75% in North America. Interest in the concept is growing in other countries.

A recent survey of 153 major companies found that 43% plan to buy renewable energy over the next 24 months. This is in contrast with the mood at a corporate buyers’ conference last summer where companies seemed reluctant to lock in long-term contracts for fear that electricity prices are falling.