power lines and wind turbines over a solar field at sunset

Rocky Mountain Institute Launches New Electricity Market Analysis Platform for Renewable Energy

RMI’s Business Renewables Center creates software platform to help buyers and developers understand where wind and solar projects are more likely to be economically attractive.

Boulder, Colorado, June 15, 2017—The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and its Business Renewables Center (BRC) have launched a new software platform that helps buyers and developers of renewable energy projects better understand which locations are more likely to be economically attractive across deregulated electricity markets in the United States.

“Big business is proving its commitment to climate action and renewable energy on the world stage right now,” said Hervé Touati, managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute. “In 65 percent of the U.S., it’s possible to source wind and solar directly but, much like real estate, these renewable energy deals hinge on location, location, location. At the Business Renewables Center, we are working to educate business leaders with insights on economic value that help buyers and developers build better projects in ideal locations.”

The platform is built using publicly-available data from market operators, a levelized cost of energy calculation, and a proprietary algorithm to model hypothetical project revenue. BRC’s market analysis platform produces an estimated “value” calculation for approximately 4,300 nodes, or grid connection points, across all seven U.S. independent system operators (ISOs) covering 39 states.

Available to the 200+ members of the Business Renewables Center, this tool will help both buyers and developers of renewable energy projects build a more complete picture of wholesale electricity market economics – based on real price histories for individual grid connection locations.

“Twenty years ago, many companies saw potential value in creating online business platforms but lacked the necessary skills and knowledge to do so,” said Stephen Abbott, Manager at Rocky Mountain Institute and project manager of the market analysis platform. “In similar fashion today, companies are starting to recognize the value of a flexible, low-carbon energy strategy, but many have little experience with energy markets. Though our software platform, BRC is working to streamline corporate procurement by bringing a new level of transparency to the industry.”

To date, 66 percent of Fortune 100 and nearly 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies have public sustainability commitments, and 96 major companies have committed to 100 percent renewable energy per RE100. The BRC is working to catalyze corporate procurement of 60 GW of renewables by 2030.

For more information, see the BRC’s website here.