Utility Dive: As Corporate PPAs Surge, Consultants Aim To Bring Lower Prices

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Utility Dive: As Corporate PPAs Surge, Consultants Aim To Bring Lower Prices

July 16, 2018

Utility Dive spoke with LevelTen Energy CEO Bryce Smith about our first PPA Price Index, and how the LevelTen Marketplace is bringing a new level of transparency to corporate buyers of renewable energy.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

As the market for corporate PPAs grows, it is also evolving, giving corporations more tools and resources that provide visibility into renewable energy pricing. One of those tools is a new report on corporate PPA prices.

“There was no way for buyers to know the value of the price they were getting.” Bryce Smith, CEO, founder of LevelTen Energy.

The first edition of the quarterly report, released in June by LevelTen Energy, found that PPA prices in the company’s marketplace dropped consistently across all ISOs over the past three months. Median prices were down $1.5/MWh across all projects. The public report aggregates corporate PPA data and presents it by technology and region.

The steepest declines, the report found, were in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region where median prices were down $3.1/MWh over the last three months. The smallest declines were in the Southwest Power Pool, which saw a drop of $0.55/MWh.

The largest price change for a single region/technology was in ERCOT for wind PPAs, which saw median prices fall by $5.5/MWh to $18/MWh. The second largest single decline over the past three months was for solar projects in the Midcontinent ISO, which saw a $4.9/MWh drop in median prices to $34.1/MWh.

Some factors driving these price declines include lower equipment costs and high demand.

The report’s prices are self reported by hundreds of developers who log on to LevelTen’s web-based marketplace, spokesman Ryan Luckin told Utility Dive.

LevelTen created its marketplace for corporate buyers to bring transparency to the market. “There was no way for buyers to know the value of the price they were getting,” Bryce Smith, CEO and founder of the company, told Utility Dive. In the past, getting PPA pricing was an onerous process, “our online marketplace automates that,” he said.

It’s important to remember, however, that “price doesn’t equal value,” Smith said. The details of a project and of a PPA matter. Location often determines the quality of the renewable resource. There are also a lot of variations in the details of PPAs.

To read the full article, visit Utility Dive.