Corporations Are the New Drivers
for Renewable Energy Growth
Looking to achieve economic competitiveness
frst and sustainability goals second, corporations
could be responsible for up to 60 GW of
renewable energy capacity by 2025.
JENNIFER RUNYON, Chief Editor
In mid-May, The Dow Chemical
Company said that it was raising
its 2025 corporate clean energy
target from 400 MW to 750 MW.
Launched in 2015, Dow’s original
2025 sustainability goals included
using 400 MW of clean power but
after meeting the target in just
one year, Dow reset the goal to 750 MW. The company said it
is the frst company in the U.S. to power manufacturing sites
with renewable energy at this scale.
NRG’s Erik Linden declined to disclose the price Dow will
pay per kilowatt-hour (k Wh) or the fnancial terms of the
deal. He said that NRG’s deal with Dow will be “solely wind”
but that NRG has similar solar power purchase agreements
(PPAs) with Whole Foods and Unilever.
Dow’s announcement is not unusual.
According to a May 2016 report from law
frm Orrick, from 2012 to 2015, contracted capacity under corporate PPAs doubled
year-over-year. Even more telling, in 2015,
corporate PPAs exceeded 50 percent of the
overall PPA market — more than traditional utilities.
Gigi John, one of the authors of the Orrick
report, “Corporate PPAs – Market Trends and
Opportunities,” said that PPAs of this type are
more than a trend. He called 2015 a “
watershed moment” and said that he and his colleagues wrote the report because “everybody
needs to understand how PPAs work.”
NRG and Dow’s 10-year PPA will provide clean
energy from the 150 MW Goat Mountain I and
II wind farms, which will power Dow’s Freeport,
Texas facilities. Credit: NRG.