The U.S. is surpassing its energy transition phase and quickly normalizing renewable energy as a major resource for clean and reliable power. American businesses are at the forefront of this movement, with many companies creating internal policies for renewable energy procurement. Solar has become a major component in the sustainability initiatives of corporate entities, and solar project economics continue to become more attractive as equipment costs decline and available project structuring alternatives increase. Many U.S. CEOs are taking note of these favorable returns, and top executives from our clients – Bloomberg L.P., Swiss Re, Ricoh and more – have already begun pushing the “solar agenda” in their companies.
A long time ago… 1978 to be exact, the United States was in energy peril. Under the OPEC embargo, oil prices were at an all-time high and continued to increase with no end in sight. In order to spur an increase in domestic energy supply, President Jimmy Carter signed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which required electric utilities to purchase additional energy from independent power producers. Various methods of purchasing this energy emerged, but one method was particularly innovative. The State of California offered independent energy producers, largely wind farms, contracts to sell the utilities energy at a fixed per-kWh price over a long-term contract period.