Altenex unveils new vehicle for short-term renewable power sales

On Tuesday Boston’s Altenex announced the availability of a new product which will allow its customers to buy electricity from renewable energy projects in 5-10 MW increments, with 10-year terms. The company’s new “PowerBlok” is aimed at large and mid-sized commercial and industrial (C&I) and institutional companies by offering a smaller and shorter-duration renewable energy off-take agreement.

“Until now, options for renewable energy purchasing have been limited to only the very largest energy users given the size and duration of the power purchase agreements,” said Allan Schurr, president of Altenex parent company Edison Energy (not to be confused with the utility holding company Edison International).

“Through PowerBloks, Edison Energy is taking the next step in helping organizations with smaller energy demands benefit from purchasing off-site renewables. It’s a key product in our Energy-as-a-Service model, where we offer tailored solutions to meet each client’s unique needs.”

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) agrees that such products are important for broadening the market for power contracts for both solar and wind. “It’s no secret that smaller, shorter-term options are necessary for the continued growth of the corporate power purchase agreement market,” BNEF Solar and Energy Economics Senior Analyst Nathan Serota told pv magazine.

“Banks, energy traders and, in this case, firms like Altenex, are all pushing different solutions to tap into the potential ‘long tail’ of corporate buyers beyond the Fortune 100. Renewable developers directly benefit from the increased demand for their product; they indirectly benefit from signing deals with headline-grabbing firms.”
However, Serota has also warned of the danger of making the wrong assumptions when betting on the residual value of projects contracted under short-term power contracts.