Corporate giants like Google and Facebook bought a record amount of renewable power in 2019. These are the 10 energy companies that benefited most from those deals.
Green Energy

Corporate giants like Google and Facebook bought a record amount of renewable power in 2019. These are the 10 energy companies that benefited most from those deals.

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Engie Solar CSP 1Engie Solar CSP 1 A concentrated solar power system developed by the French energy giant ENGIE


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  • Corporations bought a record 19.5 gigawatts of renewable energy in 2019, according to BloombergNEF. That’s 44% more than in 2018.   
  • Tech giants like Google and Facebook led the pack, driven in large part by sustainability commitments, but several oil giants also bought clean energy. 
  • In the shadow of the big corporate names are the clean energy developers who stand to benefit from those deals. 
  • Business Insider compiled a list of the top 10 energy companies that won contracts to sell clean power to corporations in 2019. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

You don’t have to look far to find a new corporate giant announcing a sustainability commitment. While those pledges are, of course, good press, they also appear to be leading to measurable action. 

That’s one takeaway from the research firm BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) new report on corporate buying of renewable energy in 2019. 

Last year, companies signed contracts to purchase a record 19.5 gigawatts of renewable energy — which amounts to 10% of all clean energy capacity added globally in 2019. And it was fueled in large part by corporate sustainability commitments, according to BNEF. 

For context, a watt is a measure of the amount of energy used in a given moment, and a gigawatt (GW) is a billion watts. That’s a lot of power, equivalent to the energy capacity of a little over 3 million solar panels, 431 utility-scale wind turbines, or 100 million LED bulbs, according to the US Department of Energy

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BNEF’s report showed that tech giants led the pack in purchasing. Google, alone, signed contracts to buy more than 2.7 GW of clean energy, followed by Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, per BNEF.

Oil and gas giants like Chevron and Occidental Petroleum also inked deals to buy renewable power last year. 

Some of the biggest winners are companies on the other sides of those deals — energy firms that sell renewable energy through power purchase agreements, or PPAs.

PPAs are essentially contracts between power providers, such as solar farm developers, and buyers trying to source renewable energy like Google. Those contracts typically lock in the price of energy for a given period of time. 

While the price of energy through a PPA varies by project, solar can cost between $20 and $40 per megawatt-hour, a measure of how many watts are used over time, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The national average price of wind, on the other hand, is often under $20 per MWh

All of this is to say: there’s a lot of money flowing through these deals, and some companies stand to benefit more than others. 

Business Insider compiled a list of the top 10 energy companies benefiting from corporate buying in 2019, based on the size of the contracts in megawatts (MW), or thousands of watts, using data from BNEF. Where possible, we list notable companies that purchased the power and the size of those deals in megawatts or megawatt-hours (MWh). 

Energy companies are listed from least to most megawattage provided in 2019. 

10. Invenergy — 396 MW

Invenergy One of Invenergy’s wind farms in Logan, Utah


Wind: 300 MW

Solar: 96 MW

What it is: Invenergy is a US-based private energy developer. The company says it has contracted more than 3,000 MW of wind and solar power to help companies meet their sustainability commitments. 

Notable buyers: Microsoft (74 MW of solar), AT&T (300 MW of wind)

9. E.On Climate & Renewables — 426 MW

Honda solar panels A solar array owned by Honda


Wind: 426 MW

Solar: 0 MW

What it is: Germany-based E.ON is one of Europe’s largest energy providers and distributors. In Britain, where it operates as a utility, the company supplies all of its 3 million customers with 100% renewable energy. 

Notable buyers: Honda (120 MW), QTS Realty Trust

8. Canadian Solar — 446 MW

FILE PHOTO: The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S., March 2, 2017.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo Anheuser-Busch signed a PPA with Canadian Solar in 2019


Wind: 0 MW

Solar: 446 MW

What it is: Canadian Solar, one of the largest public solar companies in the world, manufactures solar panel modules and develops solar arrays. The company says it has delivered over 38 GW of solar modules. 

Notable buyers: Beer giant Anheuser-Busch (310 MW) and the oil and gas pipeline company Energy Transfer (40 MW

7. Duke Energy — 494 MW

Duke Energy Walton Aerial Photos 27 A solar farm in Kentucky owned by Duke Energy

Duke Energy

Wind: 494 MW

Solar: 0 MW

What it is: Duke Energy Renewables, a business line of the US energy giant Duke Energy, operates wind and solar farms. It has a total power capacity of 3,000 MW, the company says. 

Notable buyers: AT&T (160 MW), Sprint (173 MW)

6. ALLETE Clean Energy — 528 MW

solar panels roof puerto rico Walmart is among the corporate giants that purchased energy from ALLETE Clean Energy through a PPA in 2019


Wind: 528 MW

Solar: 0 MW

What it is: Minnesota-based Allete Clean Energy, a subsidiary of the public energy utility ALLETE, buys and develops wind energy projects in the US, with a total capacity of 500 MW.

Notable buyers: Smithfield Foods (75 MW), Walmart (175 MW); Starbucks (50 MW)

5. Colbún — 610 MW

wind energy turbine power texas us The Chilean energy company Colbún sold wind power to a handful of corporate giants in 2019

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Wind: 607 MW

Solar: 3 MW 

What it is: Colbún is a Chilean energy utility with power plants and renewable projects in Chile and Peru. It has a total installed capacity of nearly 3,900 MW, the company says. 

Notable buyers: Chile’s mining giant, BHP (3 TWh per year for 10 years) and the Chilean department chain Ripley (90 GWh per year for an unspecified number of years)

4. Longroad Energy — 542 MW

Shell gas prices Shell is among the companies that purchased energy from Longroad Energy through a PPA in 2019.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Wind: 432 MW

Solar: 218 MW 

What it is: Boston-based Longroad Energy develops utility-scale solar and wind projects across North America. 

Notable buyers: Shell Energy North America (12-year contract for solar); Packaging giant Crown Holdings (400,000 MWh of solar in a 15-year contract); and healthcare provider DaVita

3. Apex Clean Energy — 651 MW

FILE - This Jan. 17, 2017, file photo shows a Facebook logo at Station F in Paris. Facebook has decided not to limit how political ads can be targeted to specific groups of people, as its main digital-ad rival Google did in November 2019 to fight misinformation. Neither will it ban political ads outright, as Twitter has done. And it still won't fact check them, as it's faced pressure to do. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) Facebook purchased energy from Apex Clean Energy through a PPA in 2019.

Associated Press

Wind: 571 MW 

Solar: 81 MW 

What it is: Virginia-based Apex finances and develops utility-scale wind and solar farms in North America. It has nearly 2,900 MW of clean energy in operation. 

Notable buyers: Facebook (62 MW of solar and 200 MW* of wind), McDonald’s (220 MW* of wind), and a coalition of tech companies including Apple, eBay, Samsung, and Sprint (75 MW)

*Apex Clean Energy developed this project, but it’s owned by Ares Management.

2. 7X Energy — 767 MW

solar 7X Energy was one of the largest corporate sellers of solar energy in 2019

Reuters/Kimberly White

Wind: 0 MW

Solar: 767 MW 

What it is: 7X is one of the largest solar energy developers in Texas. 

Notable buyers: Undisclosed “Fortune 500” company (250 MW)

1. Engie — 1,299 MW

Engie Solar CSP 1 ENGIE’s concentrated solar power system


Wind: 759 MW

Solar: 540 MW

What it is: Engie is a French energy giant with one of the world’s largest renewable energy portfolios. 

Notable buyers: Microsoft (230 MW in wind and solar), Walmart (366 MW of wind), and Target (89 MW solar)

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