Solving the Puzzle: A Case Study of the Renewable Energy Leadership Prize

GRC RELP CoverThis report is a case study of the GRC’s Renewable Energy Leadership Prize. The purpose for this case study is to share the GRC’s experience with other institutions and businesses that are considering purchasing renewable energy to meet all or part of their load,whether to hedge against rising or fluctuating energy costs, meet sustainability goals, diversify their sources of power, or for any other reason. With Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, it is clearly the direction in which all major institutional purchasers need to move.

As the Prize participants proved, it is no simple matter to structure a power purchase agreement in New England that meets all the needs of all parties for financial return, reasonable risk and cost, and an unassailable quality and quantity of clean energy which they can rightly claim.

Institutions that aspire to purchase renewable energy in Boston today have to be highly motivated to spend the time and effort to battle through the thicket of market obstacles. However, the Prize applicants rose to the challenge, proving that it can be done. The Green Ribbon Commission salutes and thanks PowerOptions, Tufts University, Endicott College, Partners HealthCare, Boston University, A Better City (ABC), Boston Medical Center, Friends of Post Office Square and the other ABC participants who have expended significant amounts of creative staff energy and  managerial attention to trying to solve the puzzle. As you will read, their stories are ongoing. Thanks to the Boston-based Barr Foundation for their support in the Prize itself and for this report, as part of its Climate Program and efforts to promote clean energy in the region.

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