NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Virtual contracts driving a boom in corporate renewables buys

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    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Virtual contracts driving a boom in corporate renewables buys

    Virtual contracts drive a boom in corporate renewables procurement; As options for renewable energy purchase agreements grow, more businesses are coming into the market voluntarily.

    Herman K. Trabish, Oct. 23, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Corporate procurement is an increasing force in New Energy growth.

    More renewables are being contracted by more big businesses in more states than ever before through an evolving set of innovative agreements that now include virtual contracts. Corporate contracting for utility-scale wind and solar had a record year with 4.81 GW of deals completed in just the first ten months of 2018. The majority of renewable capacity is now being built with innovative "virtual" power purchase agreements (VPPAs), though "physical" PPAs are still available. The variety of deals allows companies in unregulated markets to focus on projects that suit their preferences, with some targeting lower costs and others targeting environmental or economic impacts.

    Physical PPAs deliver corporate buyers' contracted renewable energy capacity onto the local grid, offsetting the electricity purchased by buyers from the grid at a retail price or a pre-negotiated green tariff price, World Resources Institute(WRI) Clean Energy Innovation specialist Celina Bonugli told Utility Dive. VPPAs deliver corporate buyers' renewable energy megawatt hours into the power markets in the projects' territories where the buyers pay contract prices and receive market prices. In regulated markets, green tariffs approved by state commissions provide corporate buyers the option of purchasing renewables through their utilities, she added. There is now a "toolbox" that corporate customers with sustainability and renewables goals can use to purchase renewable energy, depending on “their risk profile, the market they are in and the kind of impact they want to have," Bonugli said… click here for more

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