A Statement from REBA CEO Miranda Ballentine

Washington, D.C. – (June 4, 2020) – Racism. At a bare minimum, we must notice, care, and condemn the systemic violence against people of color.  REBA categorically denounces racially-charged violence and discrimination of any kind, and REBA supports the peaceful demonstrations calling for radical changes in our society. 

As a leader and as a mother, like so many of you, I have once again been heartbroken and outraged by yet another spate of violence against black people: the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, to name a few. And Christian Cooper could have easily faced the same fate given the false, racially-charged accusations against him when he asked a white woman to follow dog-leashing laws in Central Park. This still exists in 2020, and it has to stop.

The harder thing to do is to look deep within ourselves, all of us, and ask ourselves: “What can I do better? What can my organization do better?”  

According to Brookings Institute, the entire clean energy sector continues to trail other industries in diversity across occupations, with less than 10% of the workforce from black communities. REBA knows that diversity not only makes our organization and our industry stronger, but is foundational to our ability to achieve our vision of a resilient zero-carbon energy system. 

Although I am proud that REBA, at just over one year old, has articulated in policy our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, I also know that commitments are not enough, and policies are only the baseline. REBA actively seeks out diverse candidates for all our jobs, at every level—and we strive to ever-increase our understanding and unveil our unconscious biases. It is not enough.

There is so much more work to be done, and REBA must lead by example and in practice.  We are small but mighty.

As part of the next phase of our young organization’s development, REBA commits to develop and implement strategies and practices to bring to life REBA’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion,  doing our part to proactively break down the systemic and personal barriers—both known and unknown—that block diversity and inclusion at REBA and in our industry.  We will continue to build REBA’s core tenet of a spirit of partnership and our core value of respect for people and the planet.

This will take time, effort, research, and focus, and we will learn from those before us and people in diverse communities.  I know that it is not only the right thing to do in partnership with and respect for our fellow humans who have been held back by systemic barriers, but it’s also the right thing to do for REBA.  

As members of REBA, if you have insight, passion, or interest in helping REBA take this next step, please reach out to me.

In the words of a dear friend of mine, “no single action that will eliminate racism, but meaningful progress will require empathy and collective efforts to ensure things change.”

Announcing REBA’s New Board of Directors Members

Washington, D.C. – (May 8, 2020) – We are honored to announce the results of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance’s first Board of Directors election, and we want to thank all the REBA members who participated in this crucial moment for the organization. This election has been an incredible demonstration of the strength and vitality of our community. Despite the current challenges we are all facing, this community continues to show up for each other and collectively work toward the zero-carbon future we are all committed to achieving.

REBA received 19 phenomenal nominations for four open Board of Directors seats – we thank each of the nominees for their willingness to commit at this level. We look forward to your continued leadership regardless of serving on REBA’s Board.

More than 40% of REBA member companies participated in the online election (55% of whom were buyers!), ensuring we remain true to our roots as a buyer-led organization.

We are excited to welcome the newest Board of Directors members:

We are so grateful to each of these dynamic leaders, and we thank them for their support and service to the REBA community. This announcement caps an incredible week. We launched REBA’s first Virtual Member Summit – which was, from our perspective and all the feedback we’ve received thus far, an unquestionable success, with over 375 REBA members signing on to engage and learn. And REBA’s affiliate, the REBA Institute, launched a seminal piece of analysis, the Renewable Energy Policy Pathways Report.

Meet our newest Board Members:

Emma Cox, Renewable Energy Lead, McDonald’s Corporation (Buyer)

Emma Cox leads renewable energy at McDonald’s Corporation. Last year, under Emma’s direction, McDonald’s announced its first two U.S. PPAs, together totaling 380 MW, a first at this scale for a franchised business. She believes McDonald’s can use its Scale for Good (the corporation’s global sustainability strategy) to transform the renewable energy market and the communities it serves.

After graduating from Columbia University, Emma worked at the U.S. Green Building Council on programs, events and continuing education. From there, she moved to Chicago where she worked for Green Per Square Foot, leading the energy and sustainability tech start-up’s business development and marketing team. She went on to lead the energy and sustainability consulting group for Cushman & Wakefield before eventually landing at McDonald’s, where she originally managed programs around energy, water and waste. When McDonald’s shifted more of its focus to climate work, Emma’s work became dedicated to building a strategy and implementing solutions for renewable energy. Having worked in many areas within sustainability, Emma’s cultivated a diverse skillset, but she has always had a passion for making the world a better place. At home, she is mom to two young kids and enjoys traveling whenever she can get away.

Emily Cohen, VP- Renewable Energy Sales, ENGIE North America (Energy Provider)

Emily Cohen is a renewable energy developer with nearly 20 years of experience, working with wind turbine manufacturers, renewable startups and global energy companies. She currently serves as vice president of Renewable Energy Sales at ENGIE North America and leads the renewable products team, which originates and markets all long-term renewable utility scale and distributed products in the U.S. and Canada.

Emily considers herself “technology agnostic,” having led the development of thousands of megawatts of now operational utility scale wind and solar and the acquisition of dozens of renewable energy projects. She can easily discuss a broad range of development topics, from land leases and bird studies to commercial offtake negotiations and settlement mechanics of PPAs.

Robert Martine, Director, Origination, Clearway Energy Group (Energy Provider) 

With more than 15 years of experience in energy and finance, Robert Martine leads Clearway Energy Group’s Commercial Origination team, which is responsible for customer engagement, business development and contracting of wind, solar, battery storage and community solar projects across the U.S. The Commercial Origination team is focused on accelerating the adoption of renewable energy and providing clean, reliable energy to commercial customers.

Prior to Clearway, Robert spent three years at NRG Energy leading the commercial power marketing of the company’s community solar business and six years at SunPower developing large-scale solar photovoltaic projects for Fortune 1000 companies, public entities and utilities. Prior to SunPower, Robert worked at Wells Fargo in the commercial and investment banking sectors. Robert holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University. 

Teresa A. Hill, Partner, K&L Gates (Service Provider)

As a partner at K&L Gates law firm, Teresa Hill’s practice focuses on renewable energy with an emphasis on preparing and negotiating power purchase agreements. Teresa leads the K&L Gates global Corporate Energy Sourcing initiative, which helps facilitate purchases of renewable energy by non-utility buyers and supports clients in achieving their sustainability and carbon goals through their energy strategy. 

Teresa has been deeply engaged in renewable energy issues for the past 15 years and has been actively supporting the mission of REBA since January 2015 (then the RMI – Business Renewables Center). Teresa is a Wyoming native – spending summers living onsite at several major coal plants built in the 1970s where her dad was working as an iron worker – and is a permanent citizen of the mountain west, currently living in Boise, Idaho. She is an avid (but very slow) trail runner and the proud mother of two boys. 

Viable Policy Pathways Expand Access to Renewable Energy for Commercial & Industrial Sector

Washington, D.C. – (May 5, 2020) – The Renewable Energy Policy Pathways Report, released today from the REBA Institute, finds that expanding competitive supply options appears to have the greatest technical potential to provide the fastest and most cost-effective path to increase customer renewable energy access. In addition, the expansion of utility subscription programs and renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) can provide attractive near and long-term options to improve access to renewable energy.

The REBA Institute, an affiliate of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, serves as a center of excellence for transformational clean energy research, thought leadership and educational resources that identify barriers, best practices and solutions to today’s clean energy challenges. The Renewable Energy Policy Pathways report, which will be followed by a second study later in the year, serves as a roadmap of options for policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders to help unlock the marketplace for cost- effective, customer-driven and expedient renewable electricity.

“As we work toward a zero-carbon future, we need to remove pervasive market barriers to energy procurement,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA and REBA Institute. “The REBA Institute’s inaugural research highlights tangible policy pathways that can be implemented today to increase access and decrease costs to renewable resources and accelerate the decarbonization of the power grid.”

The report, developed by consultants at The Brattle Group, analyzes three overarching policy pathways to increase renewable energy procurement for commercial and industrial (C&I)
sector customers between now and 2030: (1) advancing state RPS that would accelerate renewable energy procurement for all customers, (2) expanding utilities’ renewable energy purchasing programs available to C&I and (3) introducing supply choice for C&I.

To analyze the different pathways, the Brattle Group looked at eight sample states, which were selected to represent various market and regulatory structures, renewable resource potential and existing power generation portfolios found across the U.S.

The report’s findings indicate:

  • Allowing C&I customers the option to choose their suppliers provides opportunities to expand access to renewables – potentially up to 100 percent of C&I needs. This option can lower the cost of renewable energy procurement by up to 11 percent, compared to if customers do not have supply options.
  • Utilities’ renewable energy subscription programs in states where C&I customers do not
    have supply choice provide attractive near-term opportunities to improve access to renewables. This is particularly the case when utilities replace their retiring fossil generation with renewable energy for C&I.
  • Moderate renewable portfolio standard (RPS) expansions have the potential to green the grid for all customers, but do not directly provide procurement options for C&I customers to go beyond state established renewable energy targets.

The report also shows that participation in centrally organized wholesale markets makes any of the examined policy pathways cheaper and is key to increasing customer options, reducing costs and facilitating greater renewable energy integration. Despite the varying market structures and levels of opportunities by each state, the report shows there is a potential to improve the richness of opportunities for C&I procurement of renewables across the U.S. through near and long-term solutions.

“Large energy customers have a powerful role to play in the decarbonization of the electricity sector and are increasing their momentum with aggressive renewable goals,” said Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation, REBA. “The economic development benefit of supporting such policies should also be considered as many corporations make decisions on where to site or expand operations based on where clean energy access is possible.”

The Renewable Energy Policy Pathways Report comes at the height of demand for renewable energy resources driven by advances in solar and wind technology that have reduced costs and increased utility procurements through both renewable mandates and voluntary demand. Consumer demand is a multiplier with nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies committing to climate and energy goals.

“The potential to increase the renewable access options available to customers exists through both utility offerings as well as through centrally organized wholesale markets and competitive retail markets,” noted Brattle Principal Sanem Sergici, a report coauthor. “More analysis needs to be done to evaluate specific pathways design, but this report serves to assess the topline comparative potential of the pathways.”

To download the full report and learn more about the REBA Institute, please visit: reba-institute.org.

REBA Launches Innovative Program to Accelerate Sustainable Energy Across Data Centers

Washington, DC. – (April 22, 2020) – The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), in partnership with Akamai Technologies, today announces the creation of the LESsor Sustainable Energy Network (LESSEN) program. The first-of-its-kind program provides meaningful, applicable educational programs for real estate landlords and data center operators with an aim towards developing successful, sustainable energy strategies. LESSEN will build on the success of REBA’s Future of Internet Power (FoIP) initiative, which enabled a small group of leading, large data centers to take action and implement principles to increase sustainability by addressing an industry lag among small- to mid-sized data centers.

“Many large energy buyers do not realize the extent of their impact on energy consumption through data usage and the built environment,” said Mark Porter, Director of Supply Chain and International Collaboration at REBA. “The LESSEN program is a timely development and we’re thrilled to have Akamai’s support to help accelerate awareness around energy consumption of two core infrastructure assets that businesses use – data and buildings.”

With demand for data-intensive technologies and services increasing, an estimated five billion Internet users, and growing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), data network energy consumption is on the rise. Energy conscious landlords – of both physical space and digital data centers – and their tenants are looking for an opportunity to decrease their carbon footprints. It is imperative to give each organization involved the tools necessary to decarbonize energy consumption in order to reduce emissions from leased spaces and create a zero-carbon internet.

Modern data centers can be a part of corporate efficiency,” said Mike Mattera, director, corporate sustainability, Akamai Technologies, Inc. “Since 2015, Akamai’s platform has used 61% less energy per gigabit of network capacity while still growing by over 182%. We want to share our lessons learned with data center operators and customers, inviting them to join us in reducing their energy consumption and carbon footprint. LESSEN will provide customers and providers with the education to do so.”

The 10-month LESSEN training will educate and activate landlords through fundamental education provided by market leaders. Virtual and in-person workshops include essential in-depth and project-specific education on: 

  • Energy efficiency strategies and associated technologies
  • On-site and off-site renewable energy generation
  • Making a compelling business case for sustainability
  • Contracting structures
  • Economic considerations for project types 

Participants will have a unique opportunity to engage their peers and market leaders in a small-group setting through a mix of virtual workshops and in-person meetings with personalized support that will result in the development of a renewable energy procurement template to be used in future projects.  

As climate action and renewable energy commitments continue to increase, as of April 2020 over 850 companies have committed to take science-based climate action –  organizations will look to reduce their carbon footprints across leased spaces and data centers. Physical space landlords and data center operators that can offer facilities and services powered by renewable energy will have an opportunity to distinguish themselves in the market, drive business, and make a positive environmental impact.

Learn more here about how you can participate in the training, or serving as faculty or subject matter expert.

REBA Announces Top 10 U.S. Large Energy Buyers in 2019

Washington, D.C. – (Feb. 5, 2020) – Today, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), announced the release of its Deal Tracker highlighting 2019’s Top 10 Large Energy Buyers, topped by Facebook with the procurement of 1.546 gigawatts (GW). The REBA Deal Tracker showcases total procurement of 9.33 GW of renewable energy in the U.S. and a shift in the energy landscape driven by the demand for accessible clean energy options.

“Well over half of all energy consumption comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, so it is increasingly important that large energy buyers are identifying opportunities to reduce emissions,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA. “The leaders on our list understand that as part of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) planning, integrating renewable energy is one of the most significant ways to work toward a zero-carbon future while contributing to local economies.”

Sustainability is of increasing importance across the C&I sector as proven by the growth in reporting to CDP, which has also accelerated the number of companies establishing ambitious carbon reduction targets with associated renewable energy goals. Driven by the desire to manage volatility in energy costs and reduce the climate impact of their energy consumption, large energy buyers, many of which are members of REBA, also have a strong belief that a zero-carbon energy future is in the best interest of their communities, stakeholders and shareholders.

2019 Top U.S. Large Energy Buyers

RankingCompanyVolume (Gigawatts)
8Ball Corporation.388

The continued growth of large-scale energy buyer led procurement of renewable energy, as well as a surge of first-time buyers accounting for more than half of transactions, contributes to REBA’s overall goal to catalyze 60 GW of renewable energy by 2025. The benefits of these commitments extend beyond helping achieve carbon reduction targets – these renewable energy projects also drive the creation of jobs and can revitalize local economies.

Facebook’s Altavista Solar project in Virginia will generate approximately 200 jobs during construction and more than $1.8 million in tax revenue over the 35-year lifetime of the project. AT&T, 2019’s largest non-tech energy buyer, will create 250 jobs and produce enough energy to power about 123,000 average homes through the construction of its Frontier Wind Power II in Oklahoma.

The 2019 top 10 list was calculated through REBA’s Deal Tracker, which analyzes historic renewable energy market trends, as well as the annual number and volume of deals announced in the U.S. The Deal Tracker is updated quarterly and includes publicly announced contracted capacity of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs), green power purchases, green tariffs and outright project ownership in the U.S. since 2015.

Facebook, Google, General Motors, Walmart and hundreds of other companies launch Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, targeting 60 gigawatts of corporate renewables by 2025

Washington, D.C. – (March, 28 2019) – Google, Facebook, General Motors and Walmart, along with over 300 other companies, launched the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) today—the largest group of corporate renewable energy buyers in the United States. By working to unlock the marketplace for organizations to buy renewable energy, REBA hopes to bring more than 60 gigawatts of new renewables online in United States by 2025.

With offices in Washington, DC and Boulder, Colorado, the new membership organization will span diverse industries and businesses, whose leadership circle alone represents annual revenues of $1 trillion and over 1% of US annual electricity consumption (48 terawatt-hours).

“Every enterprise—whether it’s a bakery, a big-box retailer, or a data center—should have an easy and direct path to buy clean energy. Ultimately, sourcing clean energy should be as simple as clicking a button,” said Michael Terrell, head of Energy Market Strategy, Google, and REBA’s first board chair.

REBA’s vision of tomorrow’s energy marketplace is simple and powerful: a resilient carbon-free energy system where every organization has an easy and cost-effective path to buying renewable energy. Commercial and industrial energy users were responsible for more than 2 billion tons of greenhouse gases from energy use in 2018. Mitigating these emissions is part of the reason why over 70% of Fortune 100 companies have set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets or renewable energy purchasing goals.

“Today’s REBA launch demonstrates that large energy buyers from across every sector are committed to doing their part to solve this problem,” said Rob Threlkeld, global manager, Sustainable Energy/Supply Reliability at General Motors.

Membership is available to nonresidential energy buyers, clean energy developers and other service providers. The association aims to open energy markets and offer greater choice for corporate energy buyers, focusing on innovations in policy, markets and technology as well as educational training.

“Never before has such a diverse group of organizations, from every industry, come together to form an association with a single, market-focused, mission-driven vision of a zero-carbon energy future,” said REBA’s inaugural CEO and former US Air Force executive, Miranda Ballentine.