Creating a Road Map to 100% Renewable Energy for Local Government
City and County Governments on the road to 100% have a wide range of options when it comes to sourcing renewable energy. One approach to procurement rarely fits the needs of all, and it’s important for purchasers to view the available options as a menu from which they can pick and choose what best meets their needs.
Get Clear on the Variables
With this ‘menu’ in hand, purchasers can weigh the benefits of each offering — from large-scale to on-site, and from on-bill to virtual billing. Benefits weighed, purchasers can begin to create a procurement blend that’s just right.
The right blend of procurement depends on these key variables:
- Stage of Renewable Procurement
- Operational Profile & Ownership Preferences
- Sustainability Goals & Priorities
Once an organization understands the state of its variables, it’s time to ask some questions. But not just any questions…
Ask the Right Questions
Whether just beginning to develop sustainability initiatives or looking to expand renewable procurement, there are several critical questions that local governments should ask to help generate their own unique mix of renewables:
Is the goal to go 100% in just a few years, or to start a gradual program that extends over a long timeframe?
Does it matter how close to the point of consumption the renewable generation source is located?
Is it acceptable to settle the renewable energy procurement separately from the retail utility bill? ie: purchasing RECs vs. on-site generation.
Is there a preference to aggregate multiple sites to achieve economies of scale for one big transaction or divide the procurement into several smaller transactions?
How large is the electricity consumption for their organization’s operations?
Is the consumption highly concentrated or very dispersed?
What federal, state or utility-assisted incentives exist in the market where the organization operates?
See What’s Possible and Partner Up
Answers to these questions are meant to give local governments a high-level view of their procurement possibilities and create the foundation necessary to begin a deep dive into specific renewable energy projects. In addition, addressing these questions can help procurement specialists build a portfolio designed around the organization’s sustainability strategy and business operations.
With options ranging from on-site generation to Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs), purchasers have a wide range of choices when it comes to procurement. And with so many choices on the road to 100%, City and County governments would benefit from seeking out partnerships with trusted advisors, developers, and suppliers that serve their needs across the full range of possibilities.