Groundswell, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), and The Solutions Project joined forces to accelerate an equitable clean energy future for all by leveraging corporate renewable energy purchases to deliver local community benefits alongside clean energy. Connecting large corporate purchases to community-defined clean energy priorities through tools such as Request For Proposal (RFP) language and community engagement processes holds the potential to rapidly accelerate energy equity by sharing clean energy benefits with local communities. A fundamental element of the partnership will be bringing local frontline leaders together with corporate renewable energy executives to co-create solutions.
The market transforming power of corporate renewable energy purchases is enormous. More than half of all energy consumption in the United States comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector. Large corporate buyers are already driving the market for renewable energy. Within just five years, corporate purchases resulted in the deployment of over 23 Gigawatts of new renewable energy projects in the United States. Just last year, corporate buyers announced an additional 9.33 GW of new renewable energy purchases. Leveraging this scale to incorporate purchasing processes and RFP requirements that include local community priorities can deliver benefits beyond climate and environmental goals - realizing the full environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) potential of renewables.
To launch this new initiative, Groundswell and our partners together with The Hummingbird Firm hosted “Working Wisdom Listening Tours” during February 2021. Learning how to communicate and establish longer-term transparency and co-creation processes demonstrates Groundswell’s values while extending support to grassroots community groups nationwide.
Coming Soon: Key Recommendations for framing community engagement for corporate renewable energy buying, siting and procurement practices.
For more information or questions about the Communities+Corporates program, please contact Lily Donge.