- ACP report on corporate procurement shows C&I segment driving demand for clean energy in the US
- Amazon leads with close to 12.4 GW contracted capacity till 2022, out of a total 20 GW total wind, solar, storage and other capacity contracted last year
- Cumulatively over 77 GW has been contracted by corporates till 2022-end comprising 45 GW solar, 29 GW onshore wind and 974 MW storage
- Corporate demand grows, increasingly for solar, for the economic and environmental benefits they bring
- Interest also rising for solar and storage hybrid facilities, led again by Amazon with 1.1 GW capacity
An increase in power purchase agreement (PPA) prices did not deter US corporates from purchasing 4 GW more clean energy in 2022 annually with a total of around 20 GW, led by Amazon, says the American Clean Power Association (ACP) in a new report that shows commercial and industrial (C&I) companies are driving demand for clean energy in the country.
Amazon alone procured 11 GW between 2020 and 2022 and led with nearly 12.4 GW contracted capacity in the US at the end of 2022 though only 21% of this is operational. It is followed by Meta with 8.7 GW and Google with 6.2 GW.
On a cumulative basis, 326 corporations have now committed to procure power from well over 77 GW clean energy capacity in the country which in cumulative terms is enough to power the equivalent of over 1,000 data centers or 18 million American homes, according to the association. Top 20 companies account for 61% of total contracted capacity, as per the ACP report titled Clean Energy Powers American Business.
Of this 77 GW, solar adds up to 45 GW, onshore wind 29 GW and 974 MW of battery storage capacity. Majority of these projects are located in Texas followed by Illinois and Ohio.
Moreover, of the cumulative 36 GW is operational (led by Meta with 4.8 GW), accounting for 16% of all clean power operating capacity in the country. At least 67% of the contracts are for less than 100 MW capacity, and 33% for over 100 MW though the share of the latter is now on the increase.
Corporates are increasingly preferring solar as the clean energy technology of choice over wind, having contracted 45 GW of utility scale solar power comprising 12.5 GW or 28% operational capacity. The speed at which solar is growing can be seen from about 576 MW contracted in 2017, to 14.4 GW between 2017 and 2022.
Amazon takes the lead with more than 10.2 GW solar power capacity contracted, followed by Meta with 5.9 GW and Google with 3.4 GW.
“Economic and environmental benefits, as well as growing pressure on corporations to meet sustainability targets, have led to a 100-times increase in corporate clean power procurement over the past decade,” said Interim CEO and Chief Advocacy Officer of ACP, JC Sandberg. “During that same period, solar and wind costs have decreased 71% and 47% respectively, making both more attractive to corporate energy buyers.”
Apart from solar outpacing wind as preferred choice, an interesting trend is the popularity of solar and storage deals among corporates. Cumulatively, companies have so far contracted 5.45 GW of these hybrid projects, however it includes contracts for only the solar portion of solar and storage facilities. Amazon again leads this space having contracted the most hybrid capacity at 1.1 GW, with TotalEnergies following next at 1 GW and Meta with 615 MW.
Sandberg added, “Corporate demand for clean energy is a key driver for wind, solar and battery storage development. Even traditional oil and gas companies now recognize the value of clean energy for their operations, making the energy sector the second-largest industry for clean power purchases.”
Complete report is available for free download on ACP’s website.
A November 2022 report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) placed Meta on the top among corporate solar offtakers with 3.58 GW PV capacity (see US Corporate Solar Contracted Capacity Now Nearly 19 GW Strong).