After an odd 12 months, company renewable procurement offers ended on a excessive observe, with firms inking a number of the greatest, most advanced transactions thus far. The outcome was a blockbuster fourth quarter, with greater than 7.three gigawatts of contracts inked — greater than another single quarter because the begin of the GreenBiz deal tracker. 

The listing contains acquainted names: Amazon; Google; Starbuck; AT&T; McDonald’s amongst them. These firms continued to innovate, inking larger, extra sophisticated and extra holistic power offers. The roster additionally included some contemporary faces, together with Crown and Kimberly-Clark. 

Amazon inks largest renewable power deal thus far

Internet large Amazon inked what it calls the biggest company procurement deal thus far: three.four GW unfold over 26 tasks throughout eight nations and 4 continents. Previous to this announcement, the biggest comparable deal was Google’s 1.6 GW deal in September 2019. On the time, I referred to as that jaw-dropping. Amazon simply raised the bar considerably. 

Among the many dozens of tasks throughout the deal is Europe’s largest offshore wind company energy buy settlement (PPA), in line with the developer, Orsted. The offshore wind mission is deliberate to be 900 megawatts, 250 MW of which Amazon will procure. Final quarter, Orsted inked what it referred to as the biggest company PPA from a single mission: 920 MW of offshore wind in Taiwan.

Amazon says it has overtaken Google as the biggest company person of renewables, and the renewable procurement tasks are in service of its local weather pledge to succeed in net-zero carbon by 2040. 

This deal additionally highlights how company local weather trailblazers are bundling offers to make extra of a splash. Whereas the capability procured right here is large, the typical measurement per mission is 130 MW — spectacular, however not sufficient to get headlines by itself. The identical could possibly be stated of Google’s announcement in 2019, which comprised 18 offers, that means every averages at about 90 MW per mission.

 

 

AT&T, Honda are lead offtakers in largest single U.S. photo voltaic improvement

Firms Honda, AT&T, McDonald’s, Google and Dwelling Depot partnered with three Texas municipalities (Bryan, Denton and Garland) to be the offtakers in an enormous 1.three GW photo voltaic improvement. Developer Invenergy says, when full, it is going to be the biggest photo voltaic improvement in america. 

AT&T is slated to take 500 MW, bringing the telecommunications firm’s whole procurements to greater than 1.5 GW of capability. Honda is the second largest offtaker, earmarking 200 MW, adopted by McDonald’s with 160 MW. 

The deal is an instance of an aggregation mission, the place offtakers collectively shoulder the negotiations, threat and paperwork to streamline the offtake course of. The mannequin was spearheaded by Bloomberg, Cox, Hole Inc., Salesforce, Workday and developer BayWa r.e. at first of 2019. On the time, the construction was unprecedented and impressed webcasts and case research as others questioned if it might open up procurement alternatives to extra forms of firms. (The mission got here on-line final quarter.)

Whereas this new deal doesn’t embody any firms new to the renewable procurement sport, it displays how the aggregation mannequin can scale; this photo voltaic improvement is 10 occasions the dimensions of the BayWa r.e. mission. 

Starbucks takes a holistic strategy to procurements

Starbucks introduced its sustainability objectives for 2030, which the corporate says places it in keeping with turning into a “useful resource optimistic firm.” The initiatives embody elements to handle its carbon, water and waste. 

Its fourth-quarter clear energy announcement included 4 new investments in renewable power, every utilizing a distinct procurement technique: 

A provide chain digital energy buy settlement (VPPA) — a primary for the corporate — in a transfer to scale back its Scope three emissions 
Investments in 23 neighborhood photo voltaic tasks in New York state to produce photo voltaic to its shops and the neighborhood 
A VPPA and a digital storage settlement (VSA) to offer power to tales in California 
An funding in a wind mission in Washington state to energy shops and the corporate’s roasting plant

Starbucks doesn’t present a complete procurement determine for the 4 investments. However the transfer displays a pattern famous within the Q3 2020 tracker: Firms are starting to consider renewable power inside their bigger sustainability initiatives. 

Notable mentions

McDonald’s inked a deal for 2 wind farms and a portfolio of photo voltaic tasks with a collective capability of 1.13 GW. This huge deal is nearly thrice the dimensions of the fast-food large’s debut procurements in This fall 2019, and it’s in service of its broader local weather and sustainability objectives. 
Two metal producers made this quarter’s tracker: Evraz North America and Nucor Company. The procurement displays the transfer for heavy trade to decarbonize on the eve of the Biden administration, which indicated decarbonizing metal as a local weather precedence. 
Microsoft inked a tiny however vital deal: its first peace renewable power credit score (P-REC), a clear power cope with co-benefits that help the local people. The deal will straight finance the set up of streetlights in a not too long ago electrified neighborhood within the Congo — and clears the best way for extra offers to contemplate power entry of their procurements. The transfer is in keeping with a pattern recognized in Q3 2020, the place firms are embedding social and environmental advantages into the renewable power procurement course of. The P-REC was executed with Vitality Peace Companions, a VERGE Clear Vitality Fairness Showcase honoree.
Dwelling enchancment giants made a powerful exhibiting this quarter, with Dwelling Depot inking two offers (one an aggregation deal for 50 MW, the opposite a photo voltaic plus power storage PPA for 75 MW) and Lowe’s inking a 250 MW photo voltaic deal. My scorching take: The 2 are battling it out for the notion of local weather management, and I’m 100 p.c right here for this rivalry. 

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