Business Renewables Center Unveils Suite of New Products to Aid Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing

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New Primers and Guides Will Streamline, Accelerate, and Broaden the Corporate Market

With these guides, companies looking to make deals happen will know what the problems might be and how to avoid them" -Lily Donge, RMI

Today Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) unveiled a suite of new products to aid corporate renewable energy purchasing. Through its member-based collaborative platform that includes corporate buyers, transaction service providers, and wind and solar project developers, the BRC developed and launched six new products today at a major event in San Francisco on corporate renewables.

The BRC’s focus is to streamline and accelerate corporate renewable energy procurement. In development for the past six months, the BRC’s first suite of products will be demonstrated to companies and market experts during a collaborative workshop co-hosted with NGO partners WWF, WRI, and BSR this week.

Accessible to BRC members, the primers and guides are available through a curated wiki-style site and include:

Technical resources:

  • Deal Structure Primer: The types of deal structures available in both regulated and deregulated wholesale and retail power markets, including a guide to negotiating virtual PPAs.
  • Accounting Primer: PPA contracts explained—contracting clauses, terms, and definitions.
  • Economic Analysis Primer: How to comprehensively value deals to lock in power prices below electricity market prices and protect against natural-gas price volatility.

Organizational resources:

  • Internal Support Guide: How to build internal company support and recruit a C-level sponsor by demonstrating how renewable energy deals help hit targets.
  • Deal Process Guide: How to set up a deal team, align its objectives and approach, build support, and obtain a clear mandate for the power-purchase deal.
  • Deal Dream-Team Guide: Renewable energy deals require the right team to succeed. How to assemble external consultants, auditors, legal firms, and internal champions.

“With these guides and primers, companies looking into making these deals happen will know what the problems might be and how to avoid them. Companies now have the potential to save both money and time on renewable energy transactions,” said Lily Donge, a principal in RMI’s electricity practice and leader of the Business Renewables Center.

The primers and guides include the industry experience of the BRC team and the BRC’s members and sponsors, as well as the collective insights of interviewed corporate pioneers that have already completed renewable energy deals totaling a combined capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts.

“Our observations confirm our initial hypothesis: synthesizing in one place the collective experience and knowledge of the first movers and sharing it with the fast followers will make those fast followers much faster followers," said Rocky Mountain Institute managing director Hervé Touati.

These products come to market at an opportune time for corporations. Contracting for off-site wind and utility-scale solar is a critical piece of the corporate sustainability puzzle. Though many corporations have sustainability targets—including hard metrics for percent renewable energy—efficiency and on-site renewables typically aren’t enough to meet corporate targets, according to Touati. Successfully hitting corporate clean energy and climate targets essentially requires companies to contract for off-site renewables through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

That market is expanding rapidly. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), in 2014 corporations and other institutional buyers accounted for nearly one-quarter of new installed wind capacity in the U.S. For Q1 2015, both AWEA and Bloomberg New Energy Finance see the corporate piece of the renewable energy pie continuing to grow across both wind and utility-scale solar. Yet the problem remains that a relative few big companies account for most of those PPAs.

The BRC, its members, and the new products make it easier and faster for far more companies to complete major renewable energy deals. Visit http://www.rmi.org/business_renewables_center, to learn more about the BRC.

About the Business Renewables Center
The Business Renewables Center (BRC) is a member-based collaboration platform aimed at accelerating corporate renewable energy procurement. Corporations, developers, and service providers come together to make it easier and faster to conclude renewable energy transactions. BRC's founding corporate buyers represent more than $340 billion in revenue and over 24 TWh in electricity consumption per year. The BRC aims to provide knowledge to navigate transactions, facilitate industry standards, and stimulate access to new markets.

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Since 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute has advanced market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure future. An independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank, RMI engages with businesses, communities, and institutions to accelerate and scale replicable solutions that drive the cost-effective shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. For more information, please contact media(at)rmi(dot)org

About the Corporate Renewables Partnership
The Corporate Renewables Partnership is a coordinated effort between four nonprofit organizations: WWF, WRI, BSR and RMI. Its initiatives include the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles and new regulatory models to meet these needs, Future of Internet Power, and the BRC, all aimed at expanding the market for corporate renewable energy procurement.

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Kirsten Carlson
Rocky Mountain Institute Carbon War Room
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