Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Apple shines renewable energy on Illinois and Virginia

Steve Rogerson
August 21, 2018

Apple is partnering with Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re to develop two wind and solar energy farms in Illinois and Virginia. Spearheaded by Apple, the projects will generate 290MW to the PJM electric grid serving much of the eastern USA, including areas of Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.
The two projects will provide enough power for 74,000 homes, and will support each of the companies' operations.
Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re previously had limited opportunity to access large renewable energy projects in the regions covered by the thirteen state PJM wholesale electric market. By collaborating with Apple, these companies were able to access wind and solar power from the projects at competitive prices and agreement terms. Collaborations such as this accelerate the pace at which renewable energy generation is built and brought online.
The group, with technical assistance from 3Degrees, will collectively purchase 125MW from a wind farm near Chicago and 165MW from a solar PV project outside Fredericksburg, Virginia, which will be delivered to the electric grid covered by the PJM wholesale electric market. The projects are expected to come online over the next two years. The solar and wind projects will be developed by SPower (an AES and AIMCo company) and Geronimo Energy, respectively.
"At Apple, we're proud to power all of our operations around the world with 100 per cent renewable energy," said Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president. "In the process, we've charted a course for other companies and organisations to purchase renewable energy and transition their own operations to greener power. The collaboration shows how companies of all sizes can address climate change by coming together."
Etsy, founded in 2005 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, is a global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It connects millions of buyers and sellers from nearly every country in the world.
"Etsy is excited to be a part of a project that will benefit both the planet and our customers," said Rachel Glaser, Etsy chief financial officer. "This agreement will help Etsy to meet our goal of powering operations with 100% renewable electricity while also innovating by paving the way for small companies to participate in the renewable energy market."
With its cloud delivery platform, Akamai says it makes it easier for its customers to provide secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere. Its massively distributed platform has more than 200,000 servers across 130 countries. The portfolio of web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access and video delivery is supported by customer service and round-the-clock monitoring.
"We are proud to be partnering with these corporate leaders to accelerate renewable energy adoption," said Jim Benson, Akamai EVP and CFO.For Akamai, this collaboration was critical in closing these deals; and, in conjunction with our Texas wind project signed last year, we are on target to achieve our 2020 global renewable energy goal.”
The Swiss Re Group is a provider of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer. It anticipates and manages risk from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cyber crime. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally.
"As a leader in mitigating climate risk, Swiss Re aims to reduce its carbon footprint and support renewable energy, which is why we're so happy to be part of this collaboration," said Brian Beebe from Swiss Re. "We also hope to speed up the adoption of these clean technologies through innovative insurance products, which help owners of wind and solar assets decrease cash flow uncertainty."
SPower is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the USA. It owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 1.3GW and has a development pipeline of more than 10GW. The company is owned by a joint venture partnership between AES, an energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and Alberta Investment Management, one of Canada's largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. 
"We commend Apple's leadership in this collaboration between them, Akamai and Etsy," said Ryan Creamer, CEO of SPower. “Without this group of forward-thinking companies, this project would not be a reality.”