America's Largest Corporations are Driving Clean Energy Growth


Corporations are quickly taking on key roles in helping the United States cut carbon emissions. Reuters has reported that major U.S. companies such as Walmart and General Motors are heavily investing into renewable energy.

Corporate PPA’s seem to be a growing trend, as last year nearly 40% of U.S. wind contracts were signed by corporations, universities, and military customers. This is up from just 5% in 2013, according to the American Wind Energy Association trade group.

Rapid growth in this segment are due mostly to plunging solar and wind costs. Technology advances of panels and turbines have cut costs drastically since 2013, and are projected to decline further. Furthermore, tax breaks are lowering costs to a level that is competitive, and often cheaper than, conventional sources of electricity.

GM is currently powering over a dozen facilities from renewable energy and is already saving $5 million a year worldwide, according to Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy.

Cost savings have driven GM to commit to obtaining 100% of its power from clean sources by 2050. "It's been primarily all driven off economics," Threlkeld said. "Wind and solar costs are coming down so fast that it made it feasible."

While Washington backs away from sustainability commitments, corporations are quickly developing their own agenda. With 7 GW of renewable energy installed within the last four years, America's corporations now produce enough energy to power more than 1 million homes. According to the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation, this number is expected to rise to 60 GW by 2025.

In order to reach these unprecedented levels of renewable energy generation, corporations rely heavily on power purchase agreements. PPA’s are often structured as long-term deals ranging from 10-20 years in which the owner of large solar or wind projects sell electricity to large customers. These agreements, often priced at rates lower than those charged by utilities, allow big energy users to purchase renewables at low prices with no upfront investment.

Such deals can take many forms, but most are so-called power purchase cagreements. PPA's are roughly 10-to-20-year contracts in which the owner of a large solar or wind project sells electricity to large customers, often at rates lower than those charged by utilities. These agreements allow energy users to buy renewables at attractive prices with no upfront investment.

Saturn Power has extensive experience dealing with PPA's and is ready to work with organizations that are eager to embrace natural energy solutions with wind and solar power developments. From financing to planning, building and long-term facility operation, we know how to create, complete and maintain natural energy projects. Our proven approach allows us to deliver the exact expertise your project needs for a nimble and creative energy solution.

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