Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance created to help companies buy green electricity

Posted on 16 May 2016 by Tim Brown
A SunEdison solar project - image courtesy of SunEdison and PRNewsWire.
A SunEdison solar project - image courtesy of SunEdison and PRNewsWire.

A new US-based organisation, called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, has been created to assist companies, including manufacturers, to purchase a greater proportion of their electricity from renewable sources.

The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) plans to help deploy 60 gigawatts of new renewable energy in the US by 2025. This is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy currently being generated by all the coal-fired power plants that are planned to be retired over the next four years.

REBA is led by four NGOs: Business for Social Responsibility, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund, and already includes over 60 companies as members including Microsoft, Facebook, Target and Google.

Facebook, which uses the bulk of its electricity to power data centers throughout the US, hopes to utilise 50% renewable energy by the end of 2018 and eventually move to 100% renewable energy.

“Access to clean energy is one aspect we look for when we site data centers,” Weihl said. “We’re working together with utilities and regulators to design new products so we can all buy more clean energy.”

According to a statement from the organisation, REBA plans to facilitate renewable energy suppliers, utilities, and policy makers to overcome market barriers and drive collaboration among all parties.

Each of the four NGOs that make up the coalition plan to address the needs of US businesses looking to secure renewable energy by:

  • Aggregating corporate purchasing demand, articulating business needs to the market, and working with utilities to develop solutions that better serve corporate buyers through World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund’s Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles;
  • Developing the ecosystem of solutions providers, scaling renewable energy developments, and helping companies execute their renewable energy strategies through Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center; and
  • Increasing companies use of renewable energy to power data centers by collaborating with power providers, utilities, and policymakers through BSR’s Future of Internet Power.

“We’re proud to be part of the REBA network and the movement to accelerate the transition to renewable energy,” said Brian Janous, director of energy strategy at Microsoft. “We are committed not only to increasing our purchase of green power, but also to working with new partners to bring even more renewable energy onto the grid where we do business.”

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Summit

The group will meet later this week (May 18-20) at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, for the invitation only Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Summit, to share experiences and ideas on how to encourage utilities to let businesses buy more energy from wind turbines and solar panels. A full list of invited businesses is available here.

Listen to the announcement about Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) with representatives from Facebook, Invenergy and Microsoft.

Attendees on the call include:

  • Letha Tawney, Director of Utility Innovation, World Resources Institute
  • Bill Weihl, Director of Sustainability, Facebook
  • Brian Janous, Director of Energy Strategy, Microsoft
  • Michael Polsky, Founder, President and CEO, Invenergy
  • Michael Oko, Communications Director, World Resources Institute (moderator)