Beyond the Megawatt is a Clean Energy Buyers Institute initiative and this is the first of a series of blogs that will highlight its stakeholders, priorities, and impact.
Corporate climate goals play an instrumental role in decarbonizing our economy, including the electricity sector. Since 2014, Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) members have led the transition to a carbon-free energy system by adding over 54 gigawatts of new clean energy capacity to the U.S. electricity system. Such growth in clean energy procurement provides an opportunity to maximize positive impacts on the environment and communities.
More thoughtful clean energy procurement can advance equitable community wealth-building, protection of our environment, and an electricity system that is resilient against natural disasters and supply chain disruptions.
Many companies have recognized these opportunities and have already leveraged their procurement process for impact. For instance,
- A project in Indiana led by Bank of America enabled carbon emissions reduction of 95,000 metric tons annually and provided benefits to the local ecosystem through the use of pollinator-friendly habitat.
- A 200 MW solar project to be built in Texas led by Procter and Gamble will support pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, as well as allow for sheep grazing which will be critical to the longer-term sustainability of the wider agricultural ecosystem.
- Wells Fargo partnered with utilities to invest in a community solar project in Colorado that will serve commercial and residential customers, as well as low- to moderate-income service organizations in the greater Colorado area.
As more companies continue to advance investments in clean energy projects that prioritize carbon-impact a new market need has emerged for educational support to help identify projects that best fit company priorities.
The Clean Energy Buyers Institute’s Beyond the Megawatt, launched in May 2022, is a stakeholder-driven initiative that provides guidance for companies pursuing clean energy projects with resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable priorities. Beyond the Megawatt focuses on creating and evolving energy procurement tools and standards in three key areas:
- Resilience: Enhance energy security and resilience along the supply chain to meet the needs of an economy rapidly undergoing electrification and an outdated power grid vulnerable to 21st century threats.
- Equity: Integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the design, build, and delivery of all clean energy resources
- Environmental sustainability: Minimize harm and maximize benefits for the environment and biodiversity.
Beyond the Megawatt has two simple but critical goals:
- To develop procurement tools to help maximize the positive impacts of renewable energy, and
- To deepen understanding of clean energy impacts through learning opportunities.
To ensure a diversity of stakeholder voices is represented, Beyond the Megawatt partners with energy customers, energy and service providers, NGOs, academia, researchers, community organizations, and other businesses to realize our goals. These stakeholders have helped explore various solutions and tools to embed resilience, equity, and sustainability into procurement practices.
Stay tuned for the next blog in this series to learn more about upcoming energy customer company focused tools, learning opportunities through webinars, and peer-to-peer convenings. Interested in deepening your engagement or stay in the know on all things Beyond the Megawatt? Fill out this form online or send us an email to learn more about how you can engage.