Consortium seeks better prices for schools buying renewable energy

Dec. 18, 2013
Green Schools Alliance forms purchasing consortium with support from EPA's Green Power Partnership

The Green Schools Alliance, with the support of the U.S. Environmental Agency’s Green Power Partnership, has created the Green Schools Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium to help accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by K-12 schools.

The consortium will consist of K-12 schools from across the United States that are collectively purchasing renewable energy for their facilities. It pools the collective buying power of schools to buy renewable energy at a lower rate. In its Request for Proposals issued last month, the Alliance said 22 schools had expressed interest in taking part in the consortium. Those schools have a combined annual electricity demand of 55 million kilowatt-hours.

“The larger the group, the better the price will be,” the Alliance says.

The Green Schools Alliance is a global network of more than 3,000 schools.

The Request for Proposals, developed with support from the Green Power Partnership, has been sent to renewable energy providers. It is soliciting price quotes for Renewable Energy Certificates as well as support services such as curriculum add-ons and hands-on teaching opportunities, plus marketing and communications materials. Proposals are due by Jan. 6, and the Alliance will select a proposal that best meets the needs of the participating schools. Schools in the consortium will have the choice to accept or decline the offer to purchase the certificates.

A Renewable Energy Certificate represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other benefits of one megawatt-hour of renewable electricity generation.

The goals of the consortium, the Alliance says, are to:

  • Enable schools to buy renewable energy simply and efficiently.
  • Ensure that participating schools are receiving competitively priced Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
  • Provide participating schools with the resources and communications support they need to educate their stakeholders and community on renewable energy.
  • Demonstrate leadership within the K-12 educational community and establish a standard that will influence and guide the use of renewable energy in schools across the country.

The Alliance says that beginning in January, all schools will have the opportunity to join the consortium. It has scheduled a webinar on Jan. 24 for education administrators to learn more details about the purchasing consortium.

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