How businesses can lower costs and work toward a greener future with renewable energy

Steven Gabrielle, Director, Asset Management and Development, PPL Renewable Energy

Business owners everywhere are hearing more about renewables. Whether it involves solar, wind, biomass or hydro, the notion of new and renewable forms of energy is becoming mainstream.

But how can the average business enter into the renewable energy fray and reap the benefits of cleaner energy while also maintaining a stable cost structure?

Smart Business learned more from Steven Gabrielle, the director of Asset Management and Development for PPL Renewable Energy, about how businesses can make the new world of energy options work for them.

How can renewable energy help businesses achieve their operational and environmental objectives?

A growing number of businesses are exploring renewable energy options as a way to meet their business objectives for sustainability and social responsibility, generate a portion of the electricity they use and reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses also may be interested in the government incentives and tax credits being offered for renewable energy development.

PPL Renewable Energy and PPL EnergyPlus offer a range of alternatives for businesses interested in renewable energy. We have a successful track record of developing and operating renewable energy projects. For businesses that may not be looking to build generation on-site, our companies offer renewable energy supply and renewable energy credits for businesses looking for a ‘greener’ energy supply that would like to encourage more development of solar, wind, biogas and other renewable sources.

How can working with a renewable energy provider help businesses achieve their greener goals?

With our combined expertise, PPL Renewable Energy and PPL EnergyPlus can help businesses with everything from building a renewable energy project at their site, to purchasing renewable energy credits generated by existing projects. Businesses looking to ‘grow greener’ have a lot of options. PPL Renewable Energy and PPL EnergyPlus can support whatever option interests them.

PPL Renewable Energy owns and operates nearly 50 megawatts of solar, wind and biogas projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. PPL EnergyPlus has agreements in place to purchase electricity generated by two wind projects in Pennsylvania, and purchase half of the renewable energy credits from a wind project in West Virginia. Those projects total 132 megawatts of clean generation.

These renewable energy projects offset millions of pounds of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of planting tens of thousands of acres of trees or removing thousands of cars from the road.

We are proud to say PPL Renewable Energy and PPL EnergyPlus are helping businesses to be successfully green. PPL Renewable Energy has been honored by the Environmental Protection Agency for our strong commitment to partnerships and the environment, and recently received an award from the environmental organization Penn Future.

How do customers buy renewable power?

Businesses can purchase energy generated directly by renewable projects, or they can purchase renewable energy credits. These credits are a mechanism established to support the further development of renewable energy projects by giving developers a sellable commodity in addition to the electricity they generate.

Credits can be purchased in the voluntary market, where businesses pay a green energy adder that is provided with their electric bills, or in the compliance market, where credits are tracked for compliance with state renewable energy requirements. PPL Renewable Energy and PPL EnergyPlus are committed to increasing the availability of renewable energy and increasing the diversity of generation sources to meet electricity demand.

We believe the future of renewable energy is bright, and demand will increase as the cost of renewable energy becomes more competitive with other forms of power, and as government mandates require a more diverse and more secure energy portfolio to meet future demand.

What characteristics should business customers look for when choosing their renewable energy supplier?

If you are looking to develop your own renewable generation, look for experience. You want a partner with a proven track record of success in siting projects, obtaining permit approvals and building projects on time and within budget.

On both counts, PPL EnergyPlus and PPL Renewable Energy have a strong presence in the renewable energy market. We have a record of performance and service. We have renewable energy assets. We have built and operate successful projects. We are part of a strong and stable company that has been generating, selling and delivering electricity for nearly a century.

PPL EnergyPlus is not the same company as PPL Electric Utilities. The prices of PPL EnergyPlus are not regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Customers do not have to buy PPL EnergyPlus electricity or other products in order to receive the same quality regulated services from PPL Electric Utilities.

Steven Gabrielle is the director of Asset Management and Development for PPL Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation. PPL EnergyPlus markets this green energy for PPL Renewable Energy. PPL Renewable Energy funds, develops, constructs, owns and operates renewable energy facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. To learn more, visit