Renewable energy industry in U.S. grows as Big Business buys in

In the United States, before the 2009 government stimulus package, large-scale renewable power was nowhere in the consciousness of the population at large. However, once the renewable energy technologies were highlighted, and their corresponding costs went down, investors and operators all eagerly joined the fray.

Big business built plants and then made deals with utilities to purchase the output, the initial prices of which are often higher than the cost of energy from coal plants.

Renewable energy in the US observes Big Business buy-ins

Currently, the world is entering a new era. Big businesses involved in consumer products, health care and technology, all using prodigious amounts of electricity, are negotiating deals to buy significant amounts of renewable energy from newly-built facilities including large-scale solar power plants.

This is not the same as businesses installing their own solar systems, purchasing carbon offsets, or engaging in make-believe clean and green practices. These businesses are incentivising renewable energy producers to collaborate with them in building new infrastructure designed to replace coal as the base energy source.

Apple’s announcement last February is a case in point. The tech giant revealed that it was ready to spend $850 million to purchase 130 megawatts of capacity from the First Solar California Flats Solar Project for 25 years.

Apple has built smaller solar power plants in North Carolina and in other states to power its data centres. However, this most recent announcement is a big step up in renewable energy for the innovative company.

Tech giant Apple a prime example of example of forward thinking business

First Solar recently said that this is the renewable energy “industry’s largest commercial power deal.” With an inked agreement with Apple, First Solar is now ready to build a 280 megawatt power plant on a big land area located in Monterey County.

Half of the energy output from the plant will be sold to Apple while the remainder will be directed to Pacific Gas & Electric, a California utility company. The supply earmarked for Apple will be sufficient to run its stores and other operations in the state and will enable Apple to be carbon-free in California.

Advertisment - Learn more

Likewise, Procter & Gamble announced on February 12 that it is making a deal with Constellation. Although this deal is somewhat smaller than Apple’s, nevertheless, Procter & Gamble is also set in taking advantages of the benefits of renewables.

Procter & Gamble to team up with Constellation on a biomass plant

The company will spend $200 million for a biomass plant that will supply steam to a P&G factory in Albany, Georgia. This facility produces Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet paper.

The plant will burn sawdust, pecan shells, scrap wood, and other natural waste materials to create energy. It is designed to generate 50 megawatts of energy, and will supply electricity not just to the plant facility but also to the local utility.

The sheer the size and number of renewable energy plants across the world has grown to an extent that it can now compete on, or at least near, equal footing with other sources of energy.

Photo courtesy of Sandia Labs on Flickr

The Author

Hi, my name is Eddy and I am an editor and content creator working within the media release department at Australian Solar Quotes and American Solar Quotes. Within my work I strive to educate and inform others through my coverage of current news and events within the renewable energy field from around the world. I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts.

×

Simon from Dakabin, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

William from Clifton Springs, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Henry from Menai, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar about 20 hours ago!

Margaret from Caloundra West, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 21 hours ago!

Julie from Hamilton, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Riki from Point Cook, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

John from Carrum Downs, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Lee from Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Dennis from Glenbrook, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Mary from Heidelberg Heights, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Babita from Rockbank, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Babita from Rockbank, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Jill from Cooee Bay, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

John from Mildura, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

leslie from Wondecla, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Yelda from Matraville, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar 6 days ago!

Leslie5 from Wondecla, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 6 days ago!

David from Doncaster East, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 7 days ago!

Jaga from Margate, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 week ago!

Carolyn from North Melbourne, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 1 week ago!