Retail electricity suppliers are changing the game for many corporate renewable energy buyers. Historically, retail suppliers have not been active in offering renewable solutions other than Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to energy consumers; however, that has changed. The products and solutions offered by retail electricity suppliers now are eliminating many of the challenges that have made buying renewable energy difficult for some. Shorter term contracts, smaller volumes, managing imbalance risk and integrating the renewable purchase with load serving obligations are just some of the solutions that are creating new options for corporate buyers. The retail supplier community is able to provide these solutions, while offering locationality, at prices competitive with direct Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
This article will explore in detail the role retail suppliers are playing in helping corporate buyers source renewable energy, the various products and solutions being offered, and the challenges associated with evaluating and comparing these offers to renewable PPAs.