Tag: renewable energy


The following is a word from our founder about our new Renewable Integration Service Evaluation.

Dear Friends:

I am writing to tell you about an exciting new energy advisory service now available through RPD.

It’s called RISE, or Renewable Integration Service Evaluation, and it offers corporate electricity buyers a 90 day fixed- price no-obligation review of their options for buying physical renewable electricity.

We designed this product to provide companies with a timely, cost-effective way to cut through the confusion that often surrounds the decision to “go green” and get straight to the bottom line.

The Origin of RISE

During the last three years, RPD has gained a wide range of experience in serving the corporate market for renewable electricity. We have worked with data centers, warehouse businesses, hospitals, big box retailers, universities, and grocery chains all across the country. We know the options, from on-site installation to off-site power purchase agreements (real or virtual). From direct access products to green tariffs to fractional energy contracts to community solar and more.

We understand what is involved in buying wholesale versus retail, and the various regulatory rules that apply to different state and regional electricity grids.

In short, RPD has a deep first hand knowledge of the renewable electricity business as a commercial player, and not simply as a consultant or a policy advocate.  We think that gives RPD and its professional staff – which together have over 80 years of power sector experience – a leg up on many other energy advisers.

So as more and more companies begin to look for the best way to green their electricity spend, we thought this was a good time to begin sharing our knowledge with as many businesses as possible.

What is RISE?

Let me add one final note: RPD is offering RISE as an independent, no-obligation service. RISE is not affiliated or backed by any renewable developer or supplier and is technology neutral.

RISE is also customer-driven and can be used to evaluate any physical renewable energy options selected by a customer, whether or not they include any product offered by RPD.

In short, we want RISE to work for you. I hope you’ll take the time to see if RISE makes sense for your business by following this link.

Kind regards,

Greg Staple

Founder and Chairman, RPD

The reaction to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is in many cases understandably emotional and passionate. The reality is, however, that American solutions to help mitigate climate change lie not in the White House, but in our offices. The inexorable move toward clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainability is being driven not by governments — but by consumer choice. Corporate greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) goals are now embedded in the fabric of businesses all across America by a commitment to drive profitability and efficiency, as well as meet the demands of company stakeholders and customers. Jobs in the renewable energy sector are rising rapidly. Corporations have found a social responsibility conscience as their customers and employees from the mail room to the board room support the move away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

Our ability to scale renewable energy in the U.S. lies in our own energy market, not just Paris. Providing meaningful access to physical renewable power for all energy consumers at a competitive price will do more to place energy at the center of corporate and personal sustainability objectives than one President or the other. Politics cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube as long as the market continues to meet demand with more efficient, profitable, and cleaner solutions.

The U.S. is unequivocally a major global emitter of greenhouse gases. From the outcry of the last twenty-four hours, we can see that well over half the States and many large corporations remain committed to keeping their GHG reduction goals in place. For the past few years, companies like Intuit and Iron Mountain, as well as other players from the tech, manufacturing, and retail sectors have committed to a reduction or at least no increase in GHG emissions by increasing their use of renewable energy and decreasing their overall energy use through cost-effective efficiency measures. Homeowners and small businesses are increasingly seeking clean energy alternatives from their electricity providers, while energy retailers look to offer greener products at affordable prices. Corporations and energy retailers still have the ability to take an environmental leadership and stewardship role by entering into simple, transparent agreements for physical renewable energy with RPD, customized for their needs and more flexible than PPAs or onsite installations. The bottom line is that today’s energy market offers the right environment to scale renewable energy generation and offer green energy solutions.

The power to change our world has always been in the hands of the people… and it still is.

We are proud to share some exciting news about RPD’s growing commercial success.

2016 was transformative for RPD: our innovative medium-term contracts for slices of physical renewable energy plus RECs won significant new backing from major corporate buyers.

At year’s end, RPD’s total sales of green electricity topped 200,000 MWh with energy committed to customers from a diverse mix of renewable facilities in the mid-Atlantic states (PJM), Texas (ERCOT) and California (CAISO). The total value of the energy and RECs covered by RPD’s contracts is now over $7 million.

In 2016 we also opened a new sales office in Houston and recruited a top-flight management team with decades of energy industry experience: Eric Alam, our CEO; Mark Mancino, our VP of Sales, and Mike Adcock, our VP of Supply. This new management team has already put RPD on the map.

RPD has now established itself as the leading national provider of fractional green energy capacity to commercial and industrial customers from large renewable power installations. In 2017, we plan to accelerate our growth because we know that the great majority of corporate buyers do not need (and cannot afford) to contract for the output of an entire utility-scale wind or solar facility.

So please help us get the word out about RPD’s alternative green energy contracts. Follow us and link to us through our social media outlets on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; we will continue to share news and market information as the year unfolds.

Happy New Year!

Following this month’s Presidential election, some observers have suggested that the U.S. renewable energy industry may face stiff head winds. Existing tax credits could be revisited, limits on global warming pollution are in jeopardy, and renewable energy targets might be relaxed.

On the other hand, others believe that if the federal commitment to reduce global warming pollution stalls or is diminished, voluntary actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions – such as green power purchases – will increase. After all, we know that a large majority of Americans, regardless of political party, have a positive view of wind and solar energy.

During the next year, we will begin to get a better sense as to which of these perspectives is more accurate. Whatever the outcome, however, we strongly believe that RPD’s business will continue to grow for one simple reason: our products provide major energy users with a valuable choice.

Some buyers will choose RPD’s green energy contracts primarily for economic reasons, for example, because they want to hedge their energy costs, reduce market risks or lock in an attractive price.

Others will buy our renewable products primarily for environmental reasons. They will do so to meet corporate sustainability targets, to reduce their carbon footprint or to promote a greener brand and build good will among employees and customers.

No matter the reason, RPD will continue to gain market share because energy users want choice. They want to be able to buy electricity with contracts that are right sized – in terms of volume and term – for their own needs. And they want green contracts that are price competitive with grid power, and structured to minimize their risk and meet their objectives.

In short, because RPD’s green energy contracts simply make good business sense, we know that they will be in demand under our next President just as they have been under the current one.

The last year was a good one for RPD. Our customer base is growing and our Houston office is open for business. So as you work through the implications of this election, we welcome the opportunity for a dialog about how RPD can provide a better energy choice for your company in the year ahead.

 

Many electricity consumers, including corporate buyers, are often uncertain about what it means to purchase a “renewable electricity” product.

How to buy real green energy

As explained below, one way to avoid confusion is to buy green power from a supplier, such as RPD, that (1) has a direct business relationship with a wind or solar generator; and (2) has created a contractual path across the electricity grid to the end user for that generator’s physical power and associated environmental credits. Given the physics of the power grid, this is the only way for end users to be certain that their money is actually benefiting a chosen off-site renewable facility and their electricity spend is having a direct impact, putting more renewable power on the grid.

This type of verifiable renewable electricity product — a product that is based on a direct contract path between a specific generator and the consumer — avoids confusion. It is also easier to explain this kind of purchase to employees, customers and the media and, thus to enhance the buyer’s green reputation. That is not the case, however, with many other so-called “renewable electricity” products.

Know the product: RECs are not the same as energy

As shown by a recent consumer fraud investigation by the Illinois Attorney General, many alternative electricity suppliers do not actually source physical green power to back up their “renewable electricity” claims. Moreover, in the Illinois case, the retailer investigated by the state’s consumer fraud office falsely advertised that its green product was generated exclusively from renewable energy sources. But, according to investigators, the electricity provided actually came “from a variety of sources from the electric grid” and was then “paired with the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) – which represent proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated [for each REC] from a renewable energy source.”

In other words, Illinois consumers who thought they were exclusively buying wind or solar power were actually getting resold grid power (which may have included fossil fuel or nuclear power), together with RECs (which may not have even been produced by a generator feeding the Illinois grid).

The Illinois investigation was primarily concerned with consumer fraud — namely, the failure of the retailer to accurately disclose the source of its “renewable electricity” product. State officials later conceded that because an “energy source cannot be traced once the electricity has been added to the grid”, an electricity product that consists of grid power plus grid related RECs may still be marketed as “renewable electricity”, provided that the retailer plainly discloses the product’s composition. (Click here for the state’s voluntary agreement with the retailer.)

There is a better approach: Follow the money

We think that Illinois officials may have conceded too much. While it is true that the laws of physics do not allow one to track the path of electrons across a large electric grid from a renewable facility to the end-consumer, one can track the ownership of the power via the associated contracts and financial flows. These contracts cover the rights to the physical power as well as the associated RECs.

Given the above, RPD believes that when it comes to determining whether a product for off-site wind or solar power is really “renewable electricity” or not, it is logical to look at the physical power itself. Who owns it? Is there a contract path between the renewable producer and the ultimate consumer for both the electricity and the associated RECs ?

Moreover, because the dollar value of the physical electricity itself is typically 95% or more of the total contract price, we think the contract for the electricity should be the key to determining whether a product truly deserves to be defined as “renewable electricity”. In short, follow the money. After all, you want to know that your purchase is actually benefiting a specific renewable generator and providing an off take market for their power as well as the RECs as the best way to promote and support the market adoption of renewable energy.

Summing up: Choose real renewable power

So here is the main take away from this post: Whether you are a corporate buyer trying to green your own supply or a retailer looking to source power for a mass market renewable product, RPD can help you avoid confusion.

We only represent physical renewable electricity that is dedicated to the grid, on behalf of a customer, from specific wind or solar generators. In addition, unless otherwise agreed by a customer, this power is bundled with RECs that are produced from the same dedicated renewable sources during the same time period, making them concurrent with the customer’s consumption.

Thus, each month, every MWh consumed is matched with the concurrent RECs and the underlying physical power delivered to the grid by the chosen renewable generator. And that generator is dedicated to supporting the customer’s load for the entire contract term. That’s what we call real renewable electricity.

To learn how RPD’s real and verifiable renewable electricity products can help your business, please contact our sales team.

During the last year, we’ve met with many prospective customers and attended several conferences and workshops for buyers and sellers of renewable energy. One thing we’ve heard time and again is this: The great majority of potential customers, including even fairly large companies, cannot afford and generally do not need the output of a whole off-site wind or solar farm.

So what are the options for these buyers?  RPD’s new discussion paper looks at several ways to address the “less than total wind farm” dilemma. It also profiles RPD’s own approach which is based on dividing the capacity of recently built (but under-utilized) wind and solar facilities into multiple blocks of power based on the buyer’s load and desired contract term. RPD then works with customers to negotiate follow-on agreements for additional renewable power projects.

This two-step approach has multiple benefits for buyers, not the least of which is that a buyer can quickly switch from grid power to green power and reap the associated economic and environmental benefits. This can be done without waiting for a new facility to come online or having to contract for the full output of a project.

Please get in touch if you think RPD’s approach to buying green power may work for your company. We would also welcome your comments and suggestions on the new discussion paper.

Falling prices for renewable power and rising corporate sustainability goals have led more Fortune 500 businesses to directly buy green electricity. The trend started a few years ago, and 2015 may see the largest number of deals yet.


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Larger version (pdf)

With nearly 750 MW of new power purchase agreements (PPAs) announced through the first quarter, 2015 is on track to surpass last year’s banner demand for 1300 MWs of new generation.

While terms for these PPAs vary, the seller typically develops, owns, and operates the renewable facility, and the buyer agrees to purchase the plant’s output at a negotiated price for an agreed term (typically 15-to 20 years). This type of long term commitment has put off many prospective renewable power buyers, however, because they lack the resources or risk tolerance.

That is one reason why RPD has developed medium term (3-10 year) PPAs for green power. RPD can offer shorter terms by sourcing power from a mix of existing and new facilities that are not fully subscribed. RPD’s arrangements still help to finance additional renewable projects but they don’t require the customer (ie. the end user of the power) to foot the whole bill for each project. The costs are spread over several off-takers.

Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how RPD can help your company switch to green power.