In search of low-cost, fixed-rate electricity, great wind energy deals are swaying Fortune 500 companies and other major players to throw their money “into the wind.”
Signing contracts for over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, big brands, high-tech companies, and other non-utility customers represented 52 percent of wind energy generating capacity in 2015.
An Emerging Class of High-Class Wind Customers
Representing big name brands, big box operations, and high-tech firms, corporate buyers include the Google Energy, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, IKEA, Walmart, Dow Chemicals, Tide, and Downy. Washington, DC, and a growing list of US cities, as well as Cornell University, Oklahoma State University, and other academic institutions leaned into the wind, too.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2015 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, this non-traditional but quickly emerging customer class contracted for the majority percentage of capacity through wind power purchase agreements (PPA) for the first time. Investing in either PPAs or direct ownership, a total of 70 organizations made up this emerging class of high-class customers.
Helping customers purchase renewable energy, Altenex is a popular third-party buyer’s agent. Managing Partner Charles Esdaile notes, “Today’s leading companies understand that a long-term purchase of wind energy can help them lower costs and improve the environmental performance of their operations.” He continues, “and those that have not already executed deals are working aggressively to identify and understand their purchasing options.”
“One of the Most Attractive Markets in the World”
The 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook offers logical answers for the rising trend of corporate investment in wind energy. Released by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the Sustainable Energy Factbook states that US electricity rates have remained 5.5 percent lower than 2009 rates. It also notes that the US hosts “one of the most attractive markets in the world for companies whose operations entail significant energy-related costs.”…