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Fb, lengthy a pacesetter in renewable vitality procurements, simply introduced its first direct funding in a renewable vitality venture.
And it’s a giant one. The Prospero Photo voltaic venture in Andrews County, Texas, anticipated to be accomplished in 2020, shall be one of many largest photo voltaic farms in america, with a capability of 379 megawatts. The overall financing behind the venture is $416 million. It would cowl a whopping four,600 acres — delivering $21 million in native property taxes.
Whereas company renewable procurements have been on the rise, right now’s announcement is notable for its uncommon deal construction. Fb, which has a aim to be powered by 100 % renewable vitality by 2020, normally indicators energy buy agreements (PPAs) to amass clear vitality. Departing from that sample, Fb would be the sole tax fairness investor for this venture, developed by Longroad Power. (Fb not too long ago introduced that it’s supported by 75 % renewable vitality.)
The deal shifts Fb’s function from vitality subscriber to asset proprietor, a rarity within the company procurement world that might be a mannequin for a way different corporations may procure renewable vitality.
If we’re going to develop this market to 50,000 patrons, we’ll want versatile mechanisms like this to fulfill the wants of the various patrons within the market.
“We hope such investments generally is a new avenue of meaningfully partaking with initiatives, which is perhaps simpler for some corporations than a long-term energy buy settlement, thereby unlocking new choices for extra organizations to fulfill their targets and develop the market,” mentioned Peter Freed, vitality technique supervisor at Fb, in a press release launched by the corporate.
Curiously, Shell Power North America signed a 12-year PPA for the clear energy generated by the venture, one of many first off-take agreements of this sort within the photo voltaic trade, Fb mentioned within the press launch. The 2 corporations will “share” the renewable vitality “attributes” being created by the venture.
Greater than half of Fortune 500 corporations have some renewable vitality aim, so it is smart that extra enterprise fashions and constructions will emerge to suit extra use instances. Whereas Fb’s renewable capability offers are bigger than what many different corporations want, the proliferation of choices is an indication of market maturation.
“As a company centered on accelerating the deployment of unpolluted renewable vitality procurement throughout all markets, the Renewable Power Patrons Alliance (REBA) was excited to see Fb’s new strategy to assembly its renewable vitality targets on the utility scale,” mentioned Miranda Ballentine, CEO of REBA, in an e-mail. “If we’re going to develop this market to 50,000 patrons, we’ll want versatile mechanisms like this to fulfill the wants of the various patrons within the market.”
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