Altenex, an Edison Energy division that offers renewable energy advisory and procurement services, announced the availability on January 10 of PowerBloks – what the company claims is “a first-of-its-kind renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) structure for commercial, industrial and institutional electricity users.”
Altenex President Duncan McIntyre explained the market for the new PPA structure. “Most off-site renewable energy efforts have been necessarily focused on the largest companies and institutions,” he said. “[However,] renewable energy project developers have required long-term off-take commitments – typically 15 to 25 years – investment grade credit, and large off-take commitments.
“The number of organizations that can absorb the entire production of a 100-MW to 200-MW wind farm is limited and existing aggregation models – in which multiple off-takers would divide a project’s output into more manageable sizes – come with their own challenges,” McIntyre added
For the mid-size market, he stated, the new PPA offers two major advantages:
- Scale:PowerBloks offers guaranteed availability of smaller units of renewable energy; typically in 10 MW tranches. This immediately expands the number of organizations eligible to participate in the U.S. renewables market.
- Shorter terms: PowerBloks offers 10-year guaranteed contracts. Many organizations prefer shorter terms compared to more traditional 15-20 year PPA durations and will find it easier to secure internal approval for shorter transaction
In fact, PowerBloks, the company said, enables organizations of all sizes to purchase smaller blocks of power that are matched more closely to localized demand; and gives them the flexibility to contract for power on their own timeline, as opposed to being dependent on the renewable project’s construction and commercial operation schedule.
“We believe PowerBloks is an appealing solution for a much wider range of commercial and industrial companies and institutions; such as universities, local governments and healthcare systems, many of which have smaller energy loads than would readily align with a traditional PPA,” said McIntyre.