Tuesday, October 7, 2014
1:00-2:30 p.m. (EDT)
EPA's Green Power Partnership (GPP)
On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT), EPA's GPP hosted a webinar titled "How Three Retail Buyers Source Large-Scale Solar Electricity: Making the Nation's Largest Non-utility Solar Project East of the Mississippi a Reality."
Large-scale, non-utility solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) are still a rarity despite the growing popularity of PPAs across the country. In this webinar, participants learned more about how the nation's largest non-utility solar photovoltaic (PV) PPA east of the Mississippi came to be. To help other organizations learn how to develop and implement similar PPAs, representatives from American University, the George Washington University, and the George Washington University Hospital, along with CustomerFirst Renewables, discussed their recently announced solar PPA that was launched in 2014 and will be fully operational by the end of 2015. The 52-megawatt solar PV project, distributed across three sites in North Carolina, will deliver ~123 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, meeting more than 50 percent of each university's and more than 30 percent of the hospital’s annual electricity needs.
- Overview of the project, including environmental and economic benefits.
- Challenges the organizations overcame, including defining a successful outcome, overcoming a lack of market transparency on renewable energy market prices, designing and negotiating unorthodox contract provisions, and keeping a long-term project moving.
- Elements of a successful team, including the necessity of involving a cross-functional team and leveraging the benefits of partnership among several organizations.
- Project planning and timeline, including how the team adapted their process and timeline as challenges arose, and utilizing an objective, transparent and fact-based process that all team members could trust in.
- Mollie Lemon, Program Manager, EPA's GPP
- Chris O'Brien, Director, Office of Sustainability, American University Exit
- Meghan Chapple, Director, Office of Sustainability, The George Washington University Exit
- Amy Mendoza, Assistant Administrator, The George Washington University Hospital Exit
- Gary Farha, President & CEO, CustomerFirst Renewables Exit