Choosing Off-site Renewable Power Purchase Agreements for Environmental and Social Impact
A Case Study on Cummins’s Virtual Power Purchase Agreement in Indiana by Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center
Rocky Mountain Institute and Cummins announce the upcoming release of a new case study authored by the Business Renewables Center. The case study highlights Cummins’s renewables strategy and procurement process, which led to the company’s first virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) in August 2017, with 75 megawatts of wind energy from Meadow Lake, a wind farm located in Indiana. This case study will be published during August 2018.
An increasing number of corporate renewables buyers in the US are venturing into the VPPA market, driven by their sustainability goals and the desire to enable new large-scale renewable energy projects. The case study will offer these buyers valuable insight into the sustainability strategy and analytical framework that allowed Cummins to select the renewable energy project with the greatest potential for environmental and social impact. The case study explores two topics in depth:
- The VPPA as a high-impact renewables procurement option, with a look at why Cummins selected the VPPA as its preferred off-site renewables procurement option to meet its environmental and social sustainability goals, and the approach it took in comparing the VPPA to two alternatives: renewable energy certificates (RECs) and utility contracts.
- A cost-benefit framework to select high-impact renewable projects, which presents the analytical framework the Cummins team used to find its preferred renewable energy project in Indiana. This may be of interest to other buyers that are strongly focused on sustainability impact and are considering different VPPA project options.
To develop the case study, the Business Renewables Center authors interviewed the Cummins team as well as the project developer, EDP Renewables North America, in November 2017.
“We want to maximize our impact,” said Brian Mormino, Cummins’s executive director of worldwide environmental strategy and compliance. “It was very important to us to choose a project that added renewable capacity while providing tangible environmental and community benefits. Our analysis showed that a VPPA is the most cost-effective way to achieve that in Indiana.”
Contact: Roberto Zanchi, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
More information on RMI can be found at http://rmi.org
About the Business Renewables Center
Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC) is a member-based platform that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of off-site, large-scale wind and solar energy. With over 250 members, including major corporations, leading renewable energy project developers, and transaction intermediaries, the BRC embodies the know-how of the industry. Today, BRC members account for over 13 gigawatts of renewable energy, and more than 98% of US corporate renewables deals to date have included a BRC member. With a goal to help corporations procure 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, the BRC is at the leading edge of the fastest growing sector of renewable energy procurement.
More information on BRC can be found at https://businessrenewables.org/
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, including battery systems, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 58,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world. Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 500 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 7,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned about $1 billion on sales of $20.4 billion in 2017.