Corporate Commitment to Clean Energy Expands, Not Just for Google and Apple Anymore

By Katie Fehrenbacher, Greentech Media.

Some of the first companies in the U.S. to commit to buying clean energy were internet giants, including Google and Apple, which were worried about the massive energy needs of their data centers in coal country. But today, more and more companies across a number of sectors are opting to buy renewables and are increasingly doing smaller deals.

This week, Goldman Sachs announced its first clean energy procurement deal from a 68-megawatt wind project that will be built in Pennsylvania through a power-purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. When it commences operation in 2019, the wind project will cover all of Goldman Sachs' energy needs (including offices and data centers) in the U.S.

Goldman Sachs' global head of the environmental, social and governance team, Cindy Quan, said the bank chose the deal as its first clean energy PPA because of the location, close to its energy footprint on the East Coast, and because of the size of the project, which is similar in scope to its energy footprint. Goldman Sachs, which has played a significant role in financing the clean energy sector, also wanted to invest in a project that's new and would put more clean energy on the grid.

Goldman Sachs isn’t the only one. Food giant General Mills announced last week that it’s inked a deal for a virtual PPA for 100 megawatts of clean power from a wind farm that will be built by RES in Texas.