Energy Management

Constellation Speaks to Innovative Solutions at SED’s Renewable Energy Sourcing Forum

3 min read

The 2017 Smart Energy Decisions (SED) Renewable Energy Sourcing Forum (RESF) kicked off on November 8th. The forum’s purpose was to bring businesses together to discuss the importance of purchasing renewables, aligning energy management strategies with overall business goals, and expanding renewable portfolios. SED is a web-based information resource that provides valuable content for commercial and industrial electric power customers. Constellation’s Executive Director of Renewables Origination, Ben Chadwick, closed the three-day forum with a “fireside chat” style Q&A session.

The Q&A session focused on physical renewable solutions that can help businesses manage virtual risk within a retail electric supply contract. With over 10 years’ experience at Constellation, the chat began with Chadwick explaining that his time has been split evenly between wholesale and retail. Chadwick’s career move from wholesale to retail allowed him to focus on bringing wholesale expertise to Constellation’s retail business and product offerings.

This experience has helped grow Constellation’s demand response and distributed energy business over the years and led to the introduction of Constellation’s Offsite Renewables (CORe) product. Chadwick sees the offsite renewable space as “a natural progression and evolution of the growing role that corporations are taking to control their energy, save money, and fulfill their sustainability goals in an increasingly easy way.” The “easy” part of taking control of fulfilling company’s sustainability goals was the primary focus behind CORe.

During the session, SED asked, “Our recent research report on the state of RE sourcing found the market is both expanding and evolving. How do you see the market evolving based on Constellation’s interaction with customers?” Chadwick sees a major increase in customer awareness that wasn’t even the case around this time last year. Chadwick gives a lot of credit to big corporate players for “evangelizing [renewable energy] and Smart Energy Decisions for helping to make this the ‘cool new thing.’” As a result, Constellation is seeing a lot more small-capital and mid-capital companies look into their renewable options. “They don’t have the time or resources to drive larger scale transactions like the early adopters,” Chadwick notes, but these customers want an easy product to fulfill their needs.

SED also noted that they are seeing “an unprecedented amount of corporations and other end-users enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy in the past few years, and it seems the trend is accelerating.” Chadwick attributes the boom in corporate PPAs to several factors including economics, forward-thinking early adopters in the space, a strong energy advisor and broker community, and a decline of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and utility off-takers. While PPAs have both pros and cons to their adoption for companies to consider, Chadwick believes that the greatest strength and weakness of the virtual PPA is that it is completely divorced from the physical electricity market. Options like CORe help bring the idea of a PPA back into the simplicity of a retail supply contract.

Chadwick offered these final thoughts for customers considering their renewable options:

  • Wherever possible customers should look to procure offsite renewable energy as part of a physical, retail electric supply agreement. This is done the same way they would procure electricity, on a retail supply contract.
  • Be aware that virtual PPA deals have nothing to do with your actual consumption, energy spend, hedging strategy, or a variety of other factors. It’s difficult to determine if a virtual deal is a ‘good deal’ unless you can compare it what you’re spending at the meter.
  • Constellation’s Offsite Renewables (CORe) product is seeing positive response from our customers on our approach to provide a renewable purchasing agreement in a retail energy supply contract.

For more information on all the renewable options Constellation has to offer, please visit


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