The Business Renewables Center (BRC), a program of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), released a case study that offers insights on how Cummins Inc., a global power equipment manufacturer, has enabled a new large-scale renewable energy project that offers the greatest opportunities for positive environmental and social impacts.
Cummins Inc. signed its first virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with project developer EDP Renewables in August 2017, for 75 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity over 15 years.
“To get this deal done we had to strike a balance between community benefit and environmental impact on one side, and financial risk on the other side,” explained Mark Dhennin, Director of Energy and Environment at Cummins.
Cummins is a member of the BRC, and the BRC’s new report on its VPPA provides a framework for corporate decision-making on renewable energy, which may be of interest to other buyers that are strongly focused on sustainability impact and considering different renewable project options. Cummins used this cost-benefit framework in their deal process to identify the project with the highest environmental impact and an acceptable net financial impact.
“We want to maximize our impact,” said Brian Mormino, Cummins’ Executive Director of Worldwide Environmental Strategy & Compliance. “It was very important to us to choose a project that added renewable capacity while providing tangible environmental and community benefits. Our analysis showed that a VPPA is the most cost-effective way to achieve that in Indiana.”
The case study was developed as part of BRC’s digital Learn | Analyze | Opportunities suite and industry resource library that includes the Market Analysis Platform (MAP) for scoping project value, and the BRC Marketplace that connects corporate buyers and service providers with available renewable energy projects and project developers. BRC’s knowledge and tools have been growing the market and the BRC now has a membership of over 250 corporate buyers, renewable energy project developers, and intermediary service providers.
RMI | rmi.org