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Western finance, renewable leaders convene urgent energy discussion

New research on storage, PPAs released as Paris Agreement to enter into force.

San Francisco, CA – Today leaders on renewable energy, including investors and corporate consumers, gathered at ACORE Finance West in San Francisco to help accelerate policies and investments that boost renewable energy in the Western U.S. New research was also released on energy storage and power purchase agreements with a focus on the Western U.S.’s renewable energy markets.

Senior executives from leading companies like NIKE, Google, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup joined California’s energy regulators in a discussion of the top priorities for accelerating renewable energy development in the West, amid economic and political uncertainty. The discussion was particularly timely, with the Paris Agreement on climate change expected to enter into force later this week.

“This is a critical moment for clean energy in the Western U.S.,” said Greg Wetstone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). “We have both tremendous opportunity and important challenges as we work to achieve the transition to the renewable energy economy that we’ll need to cost-effectively meet our Paris commitments.”

Participants discussed how to accelerate renewables deployment in California and across the West. Sessions focused on major tech companies’ central role in expanding renewable procurement; updating the renewable energy investment outlook; regionalizing the Western energy grid; and attracting more long-term capital to projects in the West. More on the event can be found at acorefinancewest.com.

Additionally, ACORE Finance West focused on policy developments in California, the Western states and globally, and their likely impact on renewable energy.

“The Paris Agreement and new policies in California and across the West hold tremendous promise for the renewable energy sector,” said Skip Grow, Managing Director and Head of Clean Technologies Group at Morgan Stanley. “We expect significant amounts of new investment to flow into the space.”

“California’s commitments to expanding renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and other key technologies are providing the clarity and certainty that investors and entrepreneurs need to accelerate the rapid growth of these essential innovations.” said Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner at DBL Partners. “Moreover, California’s pioneering leadership is paving the trail for the rest of the United States and world to solve the critical 21st century energy issues of our time.”

ACORE Finance West also saw the release of new original research on pressing issues in the Western U.S. energy space. These included:

  • Beyond Renewable Integration: The Energy Storage Value Proposition, a new report developed by ACORE and management consulting firm ScottMadden. Highlights from the Energy Storage Value Proposition report include:
    • Overall price reduction estimates for energy storage range between 12% and 15% per year, with the cost of some technologies dropping by up to 50% within the next five years.
    • Two markets (including California) accounted for 82% of the U.S. annual installed energy storage capacity in 2015, and California’s 1.3 GW by 2020 mandate for storage is among the key policies driving additional deployment in the West.
    • Energy storage is providing clear economic value in areas where storage provides a direct benefit to the system, and where markets or rate structures exist that have clear mechanisms to monetize those benefits.
    • In addition to its primary application, many energy storage systems provide benefits to the power system including operational flexibility and enhanced reliability. However, benefits provided to the grid are not always included in cost-benefit analyses, and as a result the potential value of storage is only partially recognized in today’s markets. Changing this will help storage reach its full potential, the report found.
  • Corporate & Industrial Renewable Energy PPA Guidebook, a new tool for companies looking to buy renewable energy directly from producers through power purchase agreements, or PPAs:
    • Developed by ACORE and members of its Corporate Procurement Working Group, this report serves as a guide to the often complex PPA process and is designed to expand the recent trend of companies procuring renewables directly from producers.
    • The Guidebook includes specific explanations and draft language on every element of PPAs, including structuring transactions; establishing pricing for power; determining REC certification and management; and capacity market proceeds, among others.

More on ACORE Finance West and ACORE’s Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) is available at acore.org.


About ACORE Finance WestACORE Finance West convenes a select group of prominent renewable energy executives, investors, corporate purchasers, and other top transactional professionals to assess recent developments, increase deal flow and maximize opportunities for financing and development of renewable energy in the Western U.S.

About ACORE: The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing value to the renewable energy industry through market development, policy changes, and finance.  With hundreds of member companies from across the spectrum of renewable energy technologies, consumers, and investors, ACORE is uniquely positioned to promote the policies and financial structures essential to growth in the renewable energy sector.  The organization’s annual conferences in Washington, New York and San Francisco set the industry standard in providing important venues for key leaders to meet, discuss recent developments, and hear the latest from senior government officials and seasoned experts.

ACORE Finance West Media Contact:
Anna Hahnemann, ACORE
hahnemann@acore.org, (202) 777-7548