Negotiating a landmark clean energy partnership
Arlington County, a leader in addressing climate and energy challenges among Virginia’s local governments, joined with Amazon (who chose the County as one of two East Coast sites for its new headquarters) to procure renewable electricity from Dominion Energy. County government buildings and Amazon offices would then utilize this renewable electricity. We conducted an analysis to help the County update its community energy plan (CEP). This analysis includes renewable power purchases for County government operations as one of the strategies needed to achieve Arlington’s carbon emission reduction goals. We then conducted additional targeted analyses to move from plan to implementation, and to support the power purchase agreement.
Virginia’s rapidly progressing energy policy landscape has changed the game for counties like Arlington. The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) requires Dominion Energy to make its power generation mix carbon neutral by 2045. These changes present opportunities as well as challenges, allowing Arlington County to choose which strategies to advance for its clean energy goals. The VCEA’s carbon neutrality goal helped open the door for Dominion Energy to offer the County and Amazon a renewable power purchase option.
Working behind the scenes, we helped Arlington County quantify its partnership with Amazon to negotiate a 120-MW solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Dominion Energy. This agreement helps all three parties meet their energy and emissions goals while also reducing the buyers’ energy costs. In addition, it marks a major step toward implementing the County’s recent CEP update.
The PPA helps Arlington County make great strides toward achieving its climate and energy goals. We continue to work with the County to design an implementation plan it will then follow to achieve the ambitious EV goals outlined in the CEP. These goals include identifying additional necessary partnerships required for the County’s success. The partnership between the County, Amazon, and Dominion Energy for the PPA showcases how local governments across the United States can work with utilities and major employers to build effective community energy partnerships to address multiple aspects of climate and energy plan implementation.