Global technology giant Apple has partnered with Akamai, Etsy, and Swiss Re, and announced this week that they will jointly develop two new wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia with a combined capacity of 290MW.
Announced on Monday and spearheaded by Apple, the two new renewable energy projects will feed clean electricity into the PHM electric grid which serves much of the eastern United States, including areas such as Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
The partnership with Apple provided Akamai, Etsy, and Swiss Re with access to competitive prices and agreement terms they would otherwise have been unable to acquire thanks to Apple’s existing expertise and experience.
“At Apple, we’re proud to power all of our operations around the world with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
“In the process, we’ve charted a course for other companies and organisations to purchase renewable energy and transition their own operations to greener power. The collaboration announced today shows how companies of all sizes can address climate change by coming together.”
Upon completion the two projects will generate enough clean power to provide the equivalent needs of 74,000 homes and will go towards supporting each companies’ operations.
“Etsy is excited to be a part of a project that will benefit both the planet and our customers,” said Rachel Glaser, Etsy Chief Financial Officer.
“This agreement will help Etsy to meet our goal of powering operations with 100% renewable electricity while also innovating by paving the way for small companies to participate in the renewable energy market.”
The two projects include a 125 MW wind farm set to be developed by Geronimo Energy near Chicago, Illinois, and a 165 MW solar PV project to be developed by sPower outside Fredericksburg, Virginia, both of which are expected to be completed and operational over the next two years.
“As a leader in mitigating climate risk, Swiss Re aims to reduce its carbon footprint and support renewable energy, which is why we’re so happy to be part of this collaboration,” said Brian Beebe, Head of Origination North America, Weather and Energy, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.
“We also hope to speed up the adoption of these clean technologies through Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ innovative insurance products, which help owners of wind and solar assets decrease cash flow uncertainty.”
Worth noting is the existing relationship that exists around Apple, Etsy, and Swiss Re, as partners with the RE100 initiative, run by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
Each company has committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity needs for their global operations from renewable energy, and Apple already hit its target earlier this year and has moved to support its suppliers in making similar commitments.
“This is a fantastic show of collaboration between forward-thinking companies pioneering new ways of sourcing renewable energy.
By partnering to buy renewable electricity, these RE100 members are able to leverage the bargaining power of their combined electricity demand,” said Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group.
“They are also sending a powerful signal that businesses want access to low-cost, clean power in all markets – and they’re not going to wait for utilities to deliver it.”
Akamai, the sole company involved not partnered with RE100, is nevertheless making its own progress with renewable energy, after investing last year in the 80 MW Seymour Hills Wind Farm in Texas, alongside a commitment to source 50% of its electricity needs from renewable energy.
“We are proud to be partnering with these corporate leaders to accelerate renewable energy adoption.
For Akamai, this collaboration was critical in closing these deals; and, in conjunction with our Texas wind project signed last year, we are on target to achieve our 2020 global renewable energy goal,” said Jim Benson, Akamai EVP and CFO.