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How to Procure Renewable Energy at Your Company
Previously, we’ve written about why your company should be procuring renewable energy and the challenges of doing so. Now, we’d like to show you exactly how it’s done, using one of our large real estate investment trust (REIT) clients as an example. This article will outline why the REIT felt it was important to procure renewable energy, the steps they took, and how your company can follow suit.
Why Procure Renewable Energy?
For our client, renewable energy procurement is a key part of their commitment to climate neutrality (they have committed to achieving net zero emissions across their portfolio by 2035). In addition, they wanted a clean energy solution that was home-grown, so local communities and economies could benefit from the investment. They also wanted to prioritize onsite renewable energy production, as well as sources located close to their buildings and cities.
The Plan of Action
To achieve their goals of local, sustainable renewable energy procurement, the REIT worked with WatchWire to execute their renewable energy procurement strategy. These are the steps they followed, which are typical for any company procuring renewable energy:
- First, WatchWire reached out to vetted suppliers that could design, create, and execute on this new project
- A request for proposal (RFP) was created outlining our client’s needs and requirements
- RFP specifications were given to each supplier
- WatchWire reviewed supplier bids to see who would be the best fit for our client based on their needs
- Contract negotiations took place between the REIT and the top two bidders
- Contract was finalized
How Can Your Company Start the Process of Procuring Renewable Energy?
Each company has different needs and requirements for their renewable energy procurement, and there are a variety of options available, including renewable energy credits (RECs), onsite generation/distributed energy resources (DERs), and green tariffs. Here’s a quick review of each option:
- RECs are tradable, non-tangible commodities that represent proof that 1 MWh of electricity was generated from a renewable energy resource and was then fed into the shared system of power lines that transport energy. Companies may purchase renewable energy credits along with their electricity, and the RECs certify that a certain amount of the electricity was from a renewable source.
- DERs are a type of onsite generation that include rooftop solar panels (the most common type) electric vehicles (EVs), small-scale hydroelectric dams and natural gas generators, biodigesters, and battery storage.
- Green tariffs are programs in regulated electricity markets offered by utilities that allow large commercial and industrial customers to buy bundled renewable electricity from a specific project through a special utility tariff rate. With green tariffs, utilities supply your company with up to 100 percent renewable power from either projects that they own or independent power producers in the region. Green tariff programs tend to vary in the way the utility procures green power for your company.
Ultimately, you will need to sit down with the leaders and drivers at your company and decide which option is best for you. Here are six helpful resources to assist you:
- A Guide to Purchasing Green Energy and RECs
This guide outlines ways to procure renewable energy from other parties. It includes different options, things to consider, and sample projects.
- Selecting a Customized Green Power Approach
This chart offers an overview of the various options for procuring renewable energy, such as project-specific supply options and retail supply options.
- Green Power Procurement, Supply Options, and How to Maximize Benefits
This guide provides information about the renewable energy procurement process, different renewable energy supply options, benefits of renewable energy procurement, as well as information on how to capture the greatest benefit from your procurement.
- An Overview of EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership program provides partners with a framework that includes credible usage benchmarks, market information, technical assistance, and public recognition to companies and other organizations that use renewable power.
- Screening Tool to Identify Green Power Supply Options (XLSM File)
The Green Power Supply Options Screening Tool is designed to assist organizations in identifying possible renewable power supply options that are available to them based on their organizational details as well as federal, state, and utility policies.
- EPA’s Renewable Energy Procurement Samples and Templates
EPA has collected example materials including templates, RFPs, contracts, and more that can help guide renewable power procurement efforts.
WatchWire is an integrated, cloud-based energy and sustainability management platform. When it comes to renewable energy procurement, WatchWire serves as an impartial third party, helping to simplify the renewable energy procurement process and identify potential opportunities for commodity savings. WatchWire’s expert procurement team provides market expertise and ensures your supply contract decisions are optimized for future operations at your facility.
In addition, our platform provides a single source of truth for tracking the performance of your contracts, analyzes actual data against expectations, and creates budgets that factor in each supply component based on historical and forward market data.
To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, you can visit our website, blog, or resource library, request a demo, or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest energy and sustainability insights, news, and resources.
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