Report: 2018 A ‘Record-Breaking’ Year For Corporate Renewable Energy Deals

Corporate renewable energy procurement in the U.S. is continuing to blossom, outlines a new report from the Business Renewables Center (BRC), a membership program at Rocky Mountain Institute.

In its updated tracker for corporate-backed renewable energy procurement, BRC says the U.S. renewables market has almost doubled its annual total of corporate off-site deals since its prior high point in 2015. Further, the number of new entrants in the market has doubled since then. 

As of Dec. 14, publicly announced contracted capacity from corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), green power purchases, green tariffs and outright project ownership in the U.S. cumulatively reached an annual high of 6.43 GW. Facebook, AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil and Microsoft are leading the clean energy acceleration with the top five highest volume in deals. Facebook leads the year in highest capacity, with several deals totaling 1,849.5 MW; it also breaks every buyer’s cumulative annual procurement record since BRC began tracking the deals in 2013.

“The record number of companies successfully pursuing renewable energy this year sends a clear signal that environmental sustainability is a serious priority for business leaders across the economy,” says Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “These companies aren’t going to wait for public policy on climate issues to catch up – they are taking the initiative to accelerate toward a prosperous, low-carbon economy.”

“Facebook is proud to contribute to the record-breaking year of corporate renewable energy deals,” notes Rachel Peterson, vice president of data center strategy at Facebook. “We believe companies can and should set big commitments to drive our nation’s transition to a clean energy future.”

AT&T has also made noteworthy renewable purchasing gains by completing deals totaling 820 MW in 2018, its first year of market participation.

“As one of the world’s largest companies, AT&T knows that we can help enable a clean energy future,” says Shannon Thomas Carroll, director of global environmental sustainability at AT&T. “We’re proud to contribute to the record-breaking year of corporate renewable energy deals and help support America’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Our investments are helping to deliver clean energy, create jobs and support communities. They are just one way our company is working to address climate change and help create a better, more environmentally sustainable world.”

BRC’s deal tracker emphasizes the growth of corporate renewable energy purchasing in the U.S., reaching over 15 GW cumulatively since 2013.

“Large-scale buyers of clean and renewable energy continue to accelerate their power to drive the zero-carbon future they want,” comments Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. “We are impressed with the growth and expansion in the corporate renewables marketplace, from a broadening sector diversity and increasingly supportive policy conditions to utilities and developers rising to meet customer demand and reducing their own generation emissions. At this pace, we anticipate a fourfold increase in corporate renewables procurement by 2025. There is a tremendous amount of good work yet to be done, and we are counting on the power of partnership to get there.”

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