REBA Member Highlight: Enel X and Eaton


Celebrating #REBAEarthMonth with Sustainability: Enel X and Eaton collaborate for a resilient future

As REBA focuses on Earth Day and the importance of sustainability throughout April, Enel X and Eaton are joining in the celebration. Both Enel X and Eaton work to help accelerate the energy transition, most recently by partnering to develop a microgrid in Puerto Rico. The project demonstrates how Enel X and Eaton are focused on helping customers and communities unlock a more resilient energy future.

Collaboration is Key to Success

Enel X and Eaton share a vision for improving sustainability and fighting climate change, bringing their unparalleled expertise and technologies to benefit customers and local energy ecosystems. That shared vision was crucial to the success of this project.

The microgrid is located at Eaton’s Arecibo plant in Puerto Rico, which manufactures circuit breakers for buildings, homes and industrial applications. The project features both on-site solar generation and battery storage. It will enable Eaton to generate, store and consume renewable energy while reducing stress on regional utility infrastructure. Eaton can also share clean energy back onto Puerto Rico’s electrical grid during periods of excess generation. 

The project will help Puerto Rico reach its latest renewable energy goals, after the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, the island’s energy regulator, in 2020 released its Integrated Resource Plan, which includes a mandate for microgrids and renewable energy. The targets are 1300 MW of storage and 3500 MW of solar by 2025. The microgrid helps in accomplishing these goals on the island.

Enel X will build, own and operate the system on behalf of Eaton, while Eaton will provide installation expertise and key control technology for the microgrid system. 

A Benefit to the Community

Eaton aims to have a positive impact on its local communities with all projects, and the microgrid fit that mission. Because of the success of the project, Enel X and Eaton are looking to replicate it elsewhere—they’re examining additional opportunities in Puerto Rico to provide a microgrid-as-a-service approach together.

A “Postcard from the Future”

The project is one of the largest microgrids built on Puerto Rico, dubbed a “postcard from the future” by Wood Mackenzie for island communities and other centralized grid systems transitioning to more distributed resources. This microgrid model proves that clean energy and reliability go hand-in-hand as Puerto Rico and other communities double down on renewable electricity commitments amidst worsening extreme weather.


Get Involved

Hear more about innovative projects during the REBA Member Summit on May 4 – 20. Registration is open to REBA members, and non-members can purchase ticketed-access to select content.


Decarbonizing the Commercial Real Estate Sector


REBA’s Commercial Real Estate Principles, a foundational tool to support the Future of Real Estate Power program, leverage tenant and landlord demand for sustainable energy solutions to transform how owners and operators view emissions reduction potential of commercial buildings.

Commercial buildings are responsible for 16% of carbon dioxide emissions and 35% of electricity use in the U.S.1 Therefore, any strategy to significantly reduce corporate emissions must include the real estate sector. With sustainability leaders in the industry emerging, investors calling for action, and tenants seeking green solutions, the commercial real estate sector  is  poised  for  significant  investment in renewable energy. 

The Future of Real Estate Power (FoREP) is REBA’s newest program focused on developing solutions for landlords and tenants to accelerate renewable energy procurement in commercial real estate. 

REBA members will inform FoREP through the creation of resources and engagement opportunities that will address the toughest challenges of procurement in the industry, including:

“As a company that is uniquely positioned as both a landlord and tenant, WeWork is acutely aware of the challenges and importance of energy management in the real estate sector. Powering commercial real estate with renewable energy is crucial for our company, as well as many others, to meaningfully meet its sustainability goals. It is exciting to see organizations like REBA stepping up and creating programs like Future of Real Estate Power to address this immense challenge.” 

Illina Frankiv, Head of Energy & Sustainability, Americas, WeWork 

The Commercial Real Estate Principles are FoREP’s first resource aimed at powering commercial real estate with renewables. The Principles were created to galvanize landlords and tenants to accelerate renewable energy procurement, guide landlord-tenant collaboration, and demonstrate growing industry demand for sustainable solutions. Any company may sign the Principles; there is no fee or REBA membership requirement to sign on. Tenants may use the Principles to help inform their energy management requests to landlords. Landlords may use the Principles to develop sustainable energy solutions for tenants.    

“At Autodesk, we are constantly seeking ways to  improve  the environmental impact of our operations. To drive change and decrease building emissions on the broad scale that is required, landlords and tenants need to collaborate on solutions.  REBA’s Commercial Real Estate Principles provide crucial guidance and demonstrate industry demand for landlord-tenant collaboration.”

Claire FitzGerald, Sustainability Manager, Autodesk 

Tackling large issues often begins with taking small steps. We hear time and again from energy buyers that without smaller wins, larger achievements become much more difficult. For instance, many tenants and landlords struggle to simply determine whom to contact regarding sustainability or energy issues.  Collaboration between tenants and landlords is critical to address both major and minor obstacles in renewable energy procurement for commercial real estate and drive meaningful industry decarbonization. Therefore, landlord-tenant collaboration will be a focal point of FoREP’s strategy and resource development as it drives its objectives forward.  


Get Involved

To learn more about the Future of Real Estate Power program and how to get involved, or the Commercial Real Estate Principles and how to become a signatory, contact supplychain@rebuyers.org.  


A Statement from REBA’s CEO, Miranda Ballentine


Every leader has pivotal times in their career, where growth is inevitable.  As for many, 2020 was such a year for me, and the first quarter of 2021 has not exactly been smooth sailing either. Yes, leading through a global pandemic and the subsequent recession required a growth mindset. Yes, the rolling climate calamities from the western wildfires to the Atlantic hurricanes to the Texas polar vortex inspired me and us to think bigger and faster about REBA’s mission. Yes, the political upheaval of the last election year and the resultant insurrection against our democracy required tenacity.

For me as a leader, however, the racial reckonings of 2020 and 2021 have been one of the most transformative times of my career. From George Floyd’s murder to the locking up of Hispanic children to last week’s killing of Asian women, and so many other atrocities, those of us with privilege of any kind have to use our voices bear witness to those that face persecution, harassment, and even violence because of who they are. 

Ok, I’m going to get a little personal here, and truthfully, this is not easy. It is hard to acknowledge having not fully seen such glaring racial issues , but I feel compelled to start there because to transform REBA’s role, I first need to change myself as REBA’s leader.

When Obama was elected, the Nation was in the midst of the #MeToo movement, and the Air Force Leadership, where I worked at the time, included more men of color than women of any race, and I thought we had made more progress as a Nation on racial issues than on gender or immigration issues.

As the granddaughter of Sicilian, peasant immigrants with no more than third-grade educations who faced discrimination and incredible hardship because of their nationality, rough accent, and poverty, I didn’t think “white privilege” applied so much to me, since my ancestors played no part in the Nation’s slavery. And they, and I, have worked hard for every success in life.

Yet, it’s now clear to me that the color of my skin evened out those discriminations in one short generation… and in fact, my immigrant grandparents had a path to citizenship because they fit the legal definition of “whiteness.”

Until 2020, I ascribed “white supremacy” to a fringe group of individual people, not a mainstream system from which I benefited due to the color of my skin. Yes, I could see the statistics; yes, I had been disgusted and heart-broken at racially-based violence; but somehow, I believed it came down to individual bad apples.

Some of you may be thinking, “your head has been in the sand,” and some of you may relate.

For me, in 2020, what I learned was that:

No, just because we had an African American president before a female president, it was not an indication that racial equity had happened in this country. (And yes, gender issues are still an issue, as are so many other forms of bias and discrimination).

Yes, even as a ‘new’ European immigrant to this country, I still personally benefited from centuries of structural white supremacy thanks to the color of my skin and the European origin of my (relatively recent) immigrant ancestors.

Racism, white privilege, and white supremacy are not (just) individual personal “isms” that afflict other people—the bad apples—but are systems built over 400 years in the United States, written in the law, policy, and social norms. And every single person with light skin, including me, has benefited from such systems.

And if I want REBA to be a leader in solving these systemic issues, I, personally, as REBA’s CEO, need to think differently about what racism is… and isn’t.  About what diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are… and are not. About the breadth of injustices, not just racial, but gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, and so many others.

I have always been passionate about the value and benefit of diverse work forces, having experienced firsthand the benefits when working at Walmart with people from around the world of every race, religion, and political affiliation. I was proud to write REBA’s Commitment to Diversity and Equity from day one of our inception, and I worked hard to close any pay gaps and sought diverse candidates.  But it hasn’t been enough. 

Here are just a few updates on some of the activities REBA has undertaken since I wrote my blog in June to foster growth and learning.

  • We built an internal team of REBA staff called Project Together Task Force to build, refine, and launch REBA’s organizational policies, procedures, and practices to: increase the diversity of REBA’s workforce; ensure that equity and inclusion are built into the DNA of our organizational culture; and foster a spirit of partnership and continuous improvement.  
  • We initiated conversations with the REBA community on the topic DEI-J, taking a first, small-step toward understanding and developing pathways for REBA to do our part on solutions to the systemic barriers to DEI-J in clean energy.
  • REBA and Groundswell partnered to launch Corporates x Communities, funded by the JPB Foundation, to explore how large buyer renewable energy procurement can generate co-benefits for local communities, and are wrapping up the Working Wisdom Listening Tour.
  • We selected Dr. Nika White to help us on the journey.
  • I joined the CEO Pledge, partly because committing matters, but even more because learning from others accelerates progress.  Like REBA, this organization seeks to share best practices and mistakes so we can all improve.
  • We kicked off a board-level task force to assess pathways for diversifying REBA’s leadership.
  • We launched a new membership option for women and minority-owned.

What’s next for REBA on this journey?

  • We’re wrapping up an in-depth assessment of REBA’s own culture—fledgling as we are—so we can model DEI-J inside and out that will inform a 2-year plan at REBA.
  • REBA Institute, REBA’s affiliate, is leading a six-month series of dialogues as a part of the Beyond the Megawatt initiative with our members about DEI-J in our industry, and clean energy justice issues.
  • Together Tuesdays, a discussion platform for the member community to lead advancements of DEI-J in the renewable energy industry, is ongoing and will result in support in the form of guidance documents, case studies, and other resources.
  • We’ll be actively seeking diversity at the board level for both REBA and the REBA Institute.
  • To create equitable opportunities within REBA membership, we have lowered the financial barrier-to-entry to offset structural disadvantages.

The first step has been learning. Open, honest, and raw learning.  I’ve been inspired by my team, who meet together to grow, talk, and challenge.  I feel I am at the very beginning of an exciting journey, and as I continue to learn, I want to hear what has stood out for you.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to the journey ahead with those of you want to join.

Yours in our shared commitment to a zero-carbon energy future,

Miranda



Authors:

Miranda Ballentine
CEO
Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

Call for Key Infrastructure Investments to Expand Organized Wholesale Power Markets

Following efforts to expand access to clean energy for all customers, REBA joins key peer organizations to urge Congress to support infrastructure investments that reinvigorate and expand the benefits of organized wholesale power markets.

It’s important to ensure to protect state authorities and local customers in the decision-making processes of existing and emerging wholesale electricity markets while providing a level playing field for clean energy generation. We call for enhanced congressional oversight and direction to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to make increased data regarding the electricity consumption and emissions for retail electricity suppliers readily available, and to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to evaluate how regional transmission organizations can improve data and forecasts energy customers need to manage energy usage during scarcity.

Click below to download the full letter for additional details and list of signatories.

National Clean Energy Coalition Urges FERC to Carefully Examine Southeast Utilities

Filing proposes ways to make Southeast electricity market design more inclusive, transparent, and cost-efficient for customers, laying foundation for broader market reforms in the region

Washington, D.C. – (March 16, 2021) – Today, national associations Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), Advanced Energy Buyers Group (AEBG), Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announced they have submitted joint comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking regulators to closely examine shortcomings in the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) proposal, which 14 electric utilities submitted to FERC in February 2021.

Representing a broad coalition of clean electricity customers and developers, the groups explain that it is not clear whether SEEM, as proposed, will provide customers in the Southeast with promised modest cost benefits. It is also unclear whether SEEM will be a step toward answering the call of state leaders and customers in the region for competitive regional wholesale markets that allow them to cost-effectively develop and access clean energy supplies.

The coalition pointed to the need for more detailed information regarding the proposed market design and advocated for modifications that would enhance transparency, governance and consumer protections within SEEM. Specifically, the comments urge FERC to:

  1. Require the utilities to supplement their filing with additional implementation details that are necessary to determine whether SEEM is just and reasonable;
  2. Consider modifications to the proposed SEEM design that enhance market and stakeholder protections; and
  3. Initiate a joint conference with state regulators and energy officials to convene broader discussions on the future of wholesale markets and transmission integration in the Southeast.

“The SEEM proposal falls far short of the wholesale market reforms that states and customers in the Southeast need to help them take advantage of low-cost advanced energy supplies and achieve their decarbonization goals,” said Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel at AEE, which also facilitates the policy work of AEBG. “The electricity grid of the future requires a new approach to wholesale market and transmission access in the Southeast, and FERC should approach the SEEM, and subsequent conversations with leaders in the region about the future of its markets, with that in mind.” 

“As customers increasingly make bold sustainability commitments that require access to clean and renewable energy, we support more competitive wholesale market options in the Southeast to help satisfy growing demand for clean energy in the region,” said Bryn Baker, Director of Policy at REBA. “We want to be sure that SEEM is designed to be a building block, and not a stumbling block, in the path to an affordable clean energy future that will benefit everyone.”

“The SEEM proposal fails to encourage competition, the most essential function of an energy market,” said Gizelle Wray, Director of Regulatory Affairs at SEIA. “To efficiently serve ratepayers in the Southeast, a regional energy market must embrace all generators, including renewable energy, and offer both long-term cost savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions. This proposal only brushes the surface of what’s possible, and we urge FERC to reject this anti-competitive framework.”

The organizations note that their members support the expansion of competitive wholesale electricity market frameworks in the Southeast. They point to a recent study indicating that a fully competitive regional wholesale market in the Southeast would provide significant benefits to the region, well above those benefits expected to be realized through the SEEM proposal.

The business groups’ joint comments are available here.

About AEE

Advanced Energy Economy is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. AEE is the only industry association in the U.S. that represents the full range of advanced energy technologies and services, both grid-scale and distributed. Advanced energy includes energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, and more. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and more than a dozen states around the country, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.6 million U.S. workers. AEE’s PowerSuite platform allows users to track regulatory and legislative issues in state legislatures, U.S. Congress, state PUCs, RTOs/ISOs, and FERC.

About Advanced Energy Buyers Group

The Advanced Energy Buyers Group is a business-led coalition of large energy users engaging on policies to expand opportunities to procure energy that is secure, clean, and affordable. Members of the Advanced Energy Buyers Group are leading companies and organizations spanning a range of market sectors, including technology, retail, education, and manufacturing. AE Buyers Group members share a common interest in expanding their use of advanced energy, with the goal of becoming more competitive, resilient, and sustainable enterprises far into the future. The Advanced Energy Buyers Group is convened and facilitated by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association of advanced energy companies.

About REBA

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance is a national association for large-scale energy buyers seeking to procure renewable energy across the U.S. With more than 250 members from across the commercial and industrial sectors, non-profit organizations, as well as energy providers and service providers, REBA is working towards the creation of a resilient, zero-carbon energy system. REBA’s members represent over $6 trillion in annual revenues and over 14 million U.S. employees. REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts of new renewable energy projects by 2025 and to unlock the energy market for all large-scale energy buyers by creating viable pathways to procurement.

About SEIA®

The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is a national trade association building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

AEE, AEBG: Monique Hanis, mhanis@aee.net, 202-236-8220

REBA: Monica Jaburg, mjaburg@rebuyers.org, 703-975-7799

SEIA: Jen Bristol, jbristol@seia.org, 202-556-2886

REBA Member Highlight: McDonald’s


How are we defining and recognizing “impact” within the renewable energy industry?

McDonald’s is proud to be recognized as the 4th largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as a part of REBA’s Deal Tracker Top 10 list, having procured 750 MW of wind and solar throughout the year. Historically the sheer volume in MW has been the main metric used to define success within this space, and it is indeed an impressive and important achievement as it relates to our progress towards a zero-carbon future.  We must ask what are the other metrics define true impact –  and how can we incentivize and recognize small energy buyers that are making large organizational shifts and change management lifts to take their first step in renewable energy procurement?

With the recent publication of REBA and Salesforce’s whitepaper, Beyond the Megawatt, we begin to reveal other criteria buyers should consider when designing their renewable energy procurement strategy. The criteria cover a wide range of social, environmental, and economic categories – each with a respective impact weight, specific to each buyer. 

McDonald’s initially entered the world of large-scale renewable energy procurement from a sense of responsibility that we had to do our part in addressing climate change. As we make more progress towards our climate action goal through our virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) transactions, we have begun to peel back the layers as it relates to impact. Coincidentally, in July of 2020, McDonald’s announced a refresh to its set of company values: Serve, Inclusion, Integrity, Community, & Family. Our values don’t all revolve around serving the best burger to our customers, it’s about how we do our business. 

Renewable energy is no different: we must consider how we are procuring our renewable energy and it must deliver the most impactful results in all categories. In October of 2020, McDonald’s announced that it would be creating a brand-new department, led by a brand new Chief Impact Officer role, that would be filled by Katie Beirne Fallon – former White House Director of Legislative Affairs. The department was created because our CEO said that “none of us have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines anymore” and that we do in fact, have the responsibility to use our scale to do good. 

These organizational shifts paired with support from leadership that truly believes McDonald’s has the responsibility to do the right thing has given our renewable energy work new life and the tailwinds we need to move beyond reaching our ambitious climate goal (we announced that we are approximately halfway there). It’s not just about the megawatt. It’s about so much more: It’s about working closely with the communities our projects are in to identify meaningful impact we can have together. It’s about working closely with organizations involved with legislation on environmental justice to address the inequity of access to clean energy and to ensure momentum towards a zero-carbon future doesn’t slow. It’s about incorporating human rights standards, diversity equity, & inclusion standards, and environmental standards into our procurement processes in order to affect systemic change in the industry and ensure that our suppliers are aligned with our values of doing the right thing. The possibilities are endless, and McDonald’s is just getting started on finding our impact areas beyond just (but in addition to!) “volume of megawatts procured”. 

Do not misunderstand me- volume of procurement must continue to increase year over year, but I want to challenge you in thinking that volume is just one metric of success that we are measuring in a world of possibilities where the renewable energy industry is uniquely positioned to affect positive systemic change across countless impact areas. 

As a REBA community, let’s start recognizing impact beyond volume. What are your organizations impact areas and how can McDonald’s and REBA help?


Get Involved

Reach out to me, Emma.Cox@us.mcd.com or education@rebuyers.org to continue the conversation. 


Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Announces Vice President of Programs

Mark Porter enters new role that will oversee all programs and initiatives focused on accelerating zero-carbon energy transactions for the organization 
 

Washington, D.C. – (Mar. 1, 2021) – The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), the leading convenor of the country’s largest energy buyers, announced the promotion of Mark Porter, who will serve as the company’s first vice president. In his new role, Porter will oversee all programs and initiatives at REBA and the REBA Institute focused on accelerating clean energy transactions for the organization’s membership and community at large. 

“Mark has been a key member of REBA’s team for almost five years, and he has been a true ‘servant leader’ as we have established REBA as a standalone organization,” said Miranda Ballentine, REBA’s CEO. “Thanks to his phenomenal contributions, creativity, and people-leadership, Mark has risen in responsibility at REBA. He is deeply respected by REBA’s members and his colleagues—and by me. I am delighted to have him serve as REBA’s first vice president.” 

Porter’s work has been instrumental to REBA since its inception, launching REBA’s popular supply chain and international programs, as well as developing and executing REBA’s most important member engagement events like the REBA Member Summit and Boot Camps. He previously served as Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Business Renewables Center, one of REBA’s pilot-phase programs, helping the program transition to REBA when it launched as a fully staffed organization in 2019. 

“I couldn’t think of a better choice for REBA’s first Vice President,” says REBA board member and frequent REBA Boot Camp faculty, Nicola Peil-Moelter of VMware, “Mark’s unique amalgam of leadership skills, expertise, humor and charm has been an essential component of REBA’s early success.” 

Mark brings 23 years of business consulting and corporate clean energy expertise, spending almost a decade in the corporate clean energy finance practice at Ernst & Young. Originally from Wales, Mark grew up in Southwest England. He is a chartered certified accountant by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) accreditation.  

“Growing up in a predominantly agricultural part of the UK, where legacy hydro facilities were on display in the energy landscape and the first wind farms were developed, there were visible symbols of sustainable energy, which rooted my interests at a young age and pulled me into the renewable energy field 15 years ago,” said Porter. “It is a distinct honor to be supporting REBA’s mission and the wider community through this new role. It has been wonderful to be part of REBA’s growth to date, and I’m looking forward to the next phase as we collectively accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon energy future.”  

Despite the challenges of 2020, large energy buyers still accelerated their commitment to zero carbon power, with a record 10.6 GW of renewable energy deals announced.  As such, REBA’s growth in 2021 will create a number of exciting employment opportunities! 

“I have witnessed firsthand Mark’s passion for serving others by selfishly sharing his knowledge and expertise to the clean energy community,” says REBA board member and frequent REBA Boot Camp faculty, Bruce Fransden of Equinix, “REBA is fortunate to have his caliber of leadership as one of our assets. As I consider the elevated positive impact and influence Mark will have in his new role, I am excited about what the future holds for REBA and its membership.” 

“As REBA passes its second anniversary, and our proof-of-concept phase is behind us, we continue to mature as an organization, which includes the addition of more roles at every level,” said Ballentine, “I can think of absolutely no better time to join the zero-carbon energy movement!”  

REBA Announces Top 10 U.S. Large Energy Buyers in 2020

Amazon tops the list with a significant increase in announced corporate renewable energy investments last year

Washington, D.C. – (Feb. 10, 2020) – Today, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), announced the release of its second annual Deal Tracker Top 10, which highlights 2020’s leading large energy buyers, topped by Amazon with the procurement of 3.163 gigawatts (GW). Large energy buyers once again showcase their resolve and commitment to renewable energy with a record-breaking 10.6 GW of announced contracted capacity.

“Large energy buyers have led the market since the inception of renewable energy in 2008. It is remarkable that the business community announced nearly 100 new deals while managing the impacts of a global pandemic,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA. “These leaders stepped up to prioritize renewables as a key component of broader organizational energy and climate strategies, and more importantly, recognize the role of the energy industry as the country looks to navigate economic recovery.”

The REBA Deal Tracker is more than a tracking mechanism, it’s a reflection of how large energy buyers continue to drive progress toward a zero-carbon future. The diverse list of companies – half of which represents first-time energy buyers accounting for 25 percent of total announced volume – has navigated market barriers through innovative contracting structures and collaboration with key stakeholders, including utilities, energy transaction parties, local communities, and industry leaders. Significant potential remains to grow the market and economy as well as create jobs by improving access to renewables through key federal policy priorities.

2020 REBA Deal Tracker Top 10

RankingCompanyVolume (Gigawatts)
1  Amazon  3.163
2  Google  1.040
3  Verizon*  .840
4  McDonald’s  .750
5  Facebook  .725  
6  General Motors  .610
7Nucor*.325
8Evraz North America*  .300
9Lowe’s  .250
10Nestlé.250

*company is not a REBA member

“We’re making big investments in wind and solar energy because it can help to quickly decarbonize our business operations. Amazon is on a path to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of our original target of 2030,” said Kara Hurst, vice president, sustainability, Amazon. “We believe all companies have a role to play in protecting the planet. To inspire collaboration, we co-founded The Climate Pledge – with signatories committing to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. We welcome REBA’s steadfast work toward enabling resilient, zero-carbon energy supplies and unlocking renewable energy for all large-scale energy buyers to help them deliver on their commitments.”

REBA members accounted for 97 percent of the renewable energy deals announced in 2020, and as the strategies used to transact in the energy market have evolved, so too has the profile of a typical large energy buyer. While the information technology (IT) sector continues to represent the highest announced renewable energy procurement by volume, industrials and materials was the top sector for new buyers, which indicates the importance of decarbonization of industrial supply chains to meet zero-carbon goals.

Of the 98 renewable energy deals reflected in the full REBA Deal Tracker update, 82 percent were announced in organized markets and 72 percent were utility-scale solar projects. Notably, 2020 was the first year that multiple large energy buyers announced procurement that included battery storage, aligning with broader industry trends as storage technology becomes more accessible. Trends also indicate a shifting focus on maximizing the carbon impact of renewable energy with leading large energy buyers matching procurement to time of use and location, siting projects strategically to optimize emissions reductions and prioritizing community benefits.

The REBA Deal Tracker is a unique tracking mechanism that focuses on U.S.-based utility scale corporate procurement. The annual REBA Deal Tracker Top 10 list features the top corporates, or large energy buyers, leading the procurement of renewable energy. You can download the full REBA Deal Tracker here.

America’s Largest Energy Buyers Call on Federal Government to Transition to Zero-Carbon Energy

Iconic American brands including Amazon, Facebook, General Motors, McDonald’s, Pepsi Co, Target and Walmart sign on to statement outlining specific federal policies to decarbonize the power system

Washington, D.C. – (Jan. 25, 2021) – Today, America’s largest energy customers are calling on the federal government to implement strong and specific national policies to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon power sector and expand access to clean energy for customers. 

“Clean energy presents an unprecedented opportunity to recover after the triple whammy of 2020: pandemic-induced recession, climate calamities, and racial reckoning,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a member-based organization that represents and advocates on behalf of many of America’s largest energy buyers. “Policies like those outlined today can revitalize the economy, grow high-wage jobs and create the electricity system of the future. As the newly inaugurated Biden Administration looks to take immediate steps to rebuild the economy and tackle the climate crisis, these iconic businesses stand ready to work together to make a zero-carbon power vision a reality.”

The Energy Buyer Federal Clean Energy Policy statement, organized by the REBA, emphasizes the need for ambitious national policies that modernize the power grid and ensure it is resilient, affordable, customer-focused, and most importantly, carbon-free. The statement’s signatories include:

  • Adobe
  • Amazon
  • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • Ardagh Group
  • Atlassian
  • Cargill
  • Danone North America
  • DSM North America
  • Equinix, Inc.
  • Facebook
  • General Motors
  • Google
  • H&M
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • LafargeHolcim 
  • McDonald’s Corporation
  • Micron Technology, Inc.
  • Microsoft
  • Nestlé 
  • Novozymes
  • PepsiCo
  • QTS Data Centers
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation
  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance
  • Sabey Data Centers
  • Saint-Gobain North America
  • Salesforce
  • Target 
  • The Clorox Company
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Unilever, United States
  • VMware
  • Walmart Inc. 
  • WeWork
  • Workday
  • Yum! Brands, Inc.

These companies represent more than $5.8 trillion in revenue and 13.5+ million employees from across diverse sectors of the U.S. economy. American businesses have signed nearly 30 GW of new, large-scale renewable energy contracts since 2014. In 2019, announced deals, totaling 9.4 GW, were the equivalent of 80 percent of total renewable energy capacity installed in the U.S., with soon-to-be-announced 2020 year-end numbers showcasing growth in the market despite challenges felt across the industry due to the pandemic. More than 250 global businesses have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy, and Fortune 1000 companies may represent as much as 85 GW of renewable energy demand through 2030. 

“Walmart is on a path to become a regenerative company through our initiatives including targeting zero-carbon emissions across our operations without the use of carbon offsets by 2040,” said Steve Chriss, Director of Energy Services at Walmart. “Clean energy resources are critical to reaching that goal, and we have set a goal to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy globally by 2035. The federal policies put forth by REBA will enable growth in renewable energy and progression to a decarbonized power grid while maintaining affordability and resilience for all American consumers.”

Already clean energy and climate action champions, these diverse businesses have taken a step past their peers to advocate for key policy strategies that accelerate energy buyer procurement goals and create a roadmap for the Biden Administration to actualize its vision of a zero-carbon energy future, including: 

  1. Leverage organized wholesale electricity markets for grid decarbonization by improving existing wholesale markets and expanding wholesale markets to achieve least-cost, efficient clean energy deployment.
  2. Decarbonize the grid for all through swift federal government action to harmonize and update the current patchwork of clean energy policies. 
  3. Support innovation to advance a resilient, affordable, clean energy system by substantially increasing federal funding for clean energy technology research, development and demonstration. 

“It’s imperative for McDonald’s to use its scale to help democratize clean energy for all. Our work must be meaningful and impactful as we continue making progress toward our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Emma Cox, Global Renewable Energy Lead at McDonald’s and REBA Board member. “This group of market leaders has the opportunity to advocate for key policies that will transform the future of energy markets for generations to come.”

You can read the full statement here. 

The Elephant in the Room: Scope 3 and Upfront Carbon


Embodied, upfront, associated – what do all these words have in common?  They are all used to describe the carbon emitted to create buildings, products, and even renewable energy infrastructure before they are operational. Wind turbines and solar panels give us zero-carbon electricity, but that does not mean they have a zero-carbon footprint. The upfront carbon comes from the production of steel, aluminum, and various minerals that make our zero-carbon electricity possible.  If we want a zero-carbon future, we must address these emissions that exist deep in supply chains.

The REBA Institute, an affiliate of REBA, sat down with Ryan Spies from Saint-Gobain and REBA Board Chair, and Phil Rausch from Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) to understand the challenge of upfront carbon and discuss how companies can work together reduce emissions in some of the most carbon-intensive, heavy industrial sectors.  Upfront carbon from industrial commodities and related heavy-duty transport represent 30% of annual carbon emissions globally, and in many cases become part of long-lived infrastructure like buildings or solar panels.  Because of this, Ryan noted, “what we do 50 years from now is not nearly as important as what we do today.”

For many companies, upfront carbon also shows up in their Scope 3 emissions, which can be larger than Scope 1 and 2 combined, and harder to tackle for individual companies. As Phil said, the “Scope 3 emissions bucket is the elephant in the room that everyone wants to address but doesn’t know how.” 

Ryan and Phil both identified a major challenge as the lack of communication between the consumer of end products and the producer of industrial commodities at the beginning of the supply chain. Producers do not hear the demand-pull from consumers; therefore, they are not incentivized to supply low carbon materials.  The REBA Institute’s new initiative, Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e), aims to solve this problem by aggregating and amplifying the demand-side voice for lower carbon industrial commodities.  

The DISC-e initiative is leading a series of workshops with stakeholders to identify an industrial commodity or supply chain where companies can collectively have the greatest impact and reduce the upfront carbon that ends up in their buildings, products, or solar panels.  In the final two DISC-e workshops, participants will align on one or two focus areas and then transition to developing a strategy for impact in the spring. 


Get Involved

If your company would like to join this effort or stay apprised of progress, you can join the January 19 workshop or reach out to jen@reba-institute.org for more information.