Company renewable procurements within the second quarter of 2020 had been — surprisingly regular.
With coronavirus turning all the pieces the other way up over the previous 5 months, I used to be assured that company renewable procurements would gradual. As an alternative, we noticed a decent quarter with virtually 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of latest procurement contracts inked, that includes a mixture of the same old suspects (Amazon, Normal Motors) and new gamers (Verizon, Boston Scientific).
Whereas it’s attainable renewable tasks are coming on-line slower than deliberate (firms are much less prone to publicize challenge delays), COVID-19 has not but squelched company appetites for clear power. In fact, we may nonetheless see slowing within the months and years to return if the financial fallout results in a crunch on financing, as many offers inked this quarter had been doubtless within the works earlier than the COVID disaster.
Verizon performs catch-up with telecom friends
Verizon introduced its first clear power procurement deal in April — 384 megawatts (MW) of mixed capability from a wind challenge in Illinois and a photo voltaic challenge in Texas.
It’s a decent quantity of capability and the third-largest deal of the quarter. It’s additionally overdue, as Verizon has lagged behind its telecommunication friends (AT&T, Dash and T-Cellular) in embracing clear power.
Dash and T-Cellular each have 100 % renewable power targets, and AT&T has procured greater than 1.5 GW of fresh power, primarily from wind power.
As compared, Verizon presently has solely a 50 % clear power purpose by 2025. Because of this, Inexperienced America’s lately up to date Clear Vitality Is Calling report ranks Verizon behind its three telecom friends in clear power progress, a rating that takes into consideration the 4 firms’ clear power commitments, clear power deployments and carbon neutrality targets.
The competitors among the many telecom giants to transition to scrub power is a testomony to the ability of peer strain between business friends, and the reputational significance of local weather motion to business-to-consumer firms.
Evident of the reputational alternatives in clear power for telecom firms, T-Cellular made a giant to-do a couple of wind farm turning into totally operational on Earth Day, certainly one of 5 tasks the corporate introduced in Q3 2019 that introduced the corporate to 95 % renewable power.
Additionally in Q3 2019, AT&T introduced an enormous, 940 MW photo voltaic and wind deal to coincide with Local weather Week. Additional, AT&T additionally has emerged as a pacesetter in wind procurements, a useful resource by which the sector has established itself as a driving pressure. The telecommunication sector is the third-largest procurer of wind power, following solely tech and retail.
Monetary establishments deepen dedication to renewables
Wells Fargo and Bank of America introduced renewable procurement offers in Q2 that had been fairly comparable to one another.
Neither deal is large — Wells Fargo is procuring 150 gigawatt-hours yearly; Bank of America is procuring 106 GWh yearly — and each use renewable power credit (RECs), that means the monetary establishment will buy the environmental credit for the technology of the renewables.
That is the second such deal for Wells Fargo. Final yr, the bank inked a photo voltaic contract with NRG Vitality to cowl all electrical energy wants for its Texas location.
The Q2 procurements are anticipated to cowl 1,200 Wells Fargo properties in California and Virginia and 345 Bank of America services in Texas. The deal exhibits that these monetary establishments, recognized for backing fossil gas tasks, are betting on and prioritizing renewable power for inner operations.
Whereas bigger monetary establishments are ramping up renewable procurements, the curve already has been set by Fifth Third Bank. Fifth Third, which operates in 10 states within the midwest and south, dedicated to 100 % renewables in 2018 and reached its purpose final yr.
Normal Motors zooms in direction of clear power targets
Normal Motors has a fame for taking part in good with utilities. Within the second quarter of 2020, GM continued its management by inking two new utility partnerships. The automotive firm will buy 100 MW of photo voltaic by way of Tennessee Valley Authority to energy GM’s Spring Hill’s manufacturing facility, and 330 MW of photo voltaic by way of the utility DTE in Michigan, GM’s dwelling state.
In February, the corporate accelerated its renewable power purpose by a decade, shifting its 100 % renewable goal from 2050 to 2040. Rob Threlkeld, world supervisor of sustainable power, provide and reliability, shared in a dialog in March that the corporate remains to be on monitor to satisfy that purpose, regardless of the pandemic “velocity bump.”
“The economics are driving it, there’ll proceed to be that transition,” Threlkeld stated. “It may gradual some contracts down that we’re engaged on as a result of we simply don’t have all the mandatory sources totally out there to us presently, however it’s not going to delay issues considerably.”
Within the firm’s annual sustainability report launched final week, GM confirmed it continues to be on monitor for its renewable targets.
Worldwide PPA are (nonetheless) going gangbusters — and maturing
U.S.-based firms proceed to look overseas to acquire renewables to help worldwide operations, a pattern I first wrote about in This fall 2020.
Amazon earned the crown of largest procurement deal of the quarter, 615 MW of photo voltaic, coming into a five-project settlement unfold throughout three international locations: Australia; China; and america. The multi-project, multi-country model is paying homage to the most important procurement deal up to now, Google’s 1.6-GW bundle of 18 tasks introduced in September.
Ball Company, which entered renewable procurements in a giant method when it met 100 % of its power wants for North American operations with a single deal in Q2 2019, inked its second main procurement deal in Europe; a digital energy buy settlement (VPPA) in Spain that’s anticipated to cut back packaging firm’s Scope 2 emissions in Europe by virtually a fourth.
In Q2 2020, a surge of European firms, giant and small, bought in on the renewable power motion.
A fast depend of the company agreements outdoors of the states from Renewable Now’s bimonthly PPA roundup exhibits that the variety of worldwide offers is about equal to the quantity U.S.-based offers. Many of those offers are in western Europe, with Spain rising as a favourite location for brand new belongings.
The chart under exhibits the corporate and placement of worldwide offers (not included in our deal tracker of U.S. firms or tasks).
With the European Union’s targets for net-zero emissions by 2050 and its “inexperienced” restoration bundle to leap begin the COVID-ravaged financial system, I’m preserving my eye on European procurements to see what new models and offers it creates.