The BRC’s History

The Business Renewables Center (BRC) streamlines and accelerates the corporate procurement of utility-scale wind and solar energy. Today, the BRC’s corporate members have a collective annual revenue of $1.2 trillion and consume 60 terawatt-hours of electricity per year—equivalent to roughly 5.5 million American homes—but our story began not long ago.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an independent, non-partisan nonprofit that drives clean energy, first identified the potential for corporations to be major drivers of renewable energy demand in the U.S. in 2013, when only a handful of corporations had procured large-scale renewable power. Through engaging with industry, RMI also recognized that market barriers hindered corporations from executing large-scale wind and solar transactions and resolved to establish a member-based platform to overcome those barriers. In April 2014, the nascent BRC got strong validation as proof of concept when it won a Bloomberg New Energy Finance for Resilience (“FiRe”) award.

RMI brought together corporations, project developers, and intermediaries in November 2014 to establish the BRC. In February 2015, the BRC publicly launched with 28 founding members, including General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Nestlé Waters, Owens Corning, and Salesforce, and a who’s-who of project developers and transaction service providers. By March 2016, membership had tripled to over 90 members. Corporate power purchasing also nearly tripled in 2015, growing to 3.21 gigawatts from 1.18 gigawatts in 2014; BRC-affiliated companies were involved in 91% of those transactions.

The goal of the BRC is to help corporations procure 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

The goal of the BRC is to help corporations procure 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, and we are well on our way. Last year, corporations displaced utilities as the majority purchasers of wind power. As more corporations realize they can lock in long-term affordable prices for clean energy that supports the bottom line, reduces their carbon footprint, and fulfill their corporate sustainability commitments, we expect the BRC to continue to expand its membership.

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