Major companies in Indiana and a pair of cities have formally requested that two of the largest electric utilities in the state make it easier to purchase renewable energy.
The members of Indiana Advanced Energy Economy, a trade organization representing companies seeking a transition to clean energy, the cities of Indianapolis and Bloomington and non-IAEE companies Coca-Cola Co., Walmart Inc., Salesforce Inc., Cummins Inc., Rivian Automotive Inc. and Roche have asked Duke Energy Indiana and AES Indiana to establish a green tariff program in the state.
“As municipalities, educational institutions, non-profits, and global companies, we are vital to the health of the state’s economy and provide products and services to Hoosiers as well as individuals from around the world through our operations in Indiana. We value not only a reliable and affordable electricity supply, but also a clean one,” the parties wrote to the utilities. “Our organizations have set public goals to reduce carbon emissions and to operate using renewable energy. Our ability to access power from renewable resources through our utilities is essential to our energy strategies. In parallel, we believe that increased renewable energy generation in Indiana will help ensure that other organizations will have access to a range of cost-competitive solutions to meet their energy needs.”
A green tariff program allows larger commercial and industrial customers to buy bundled renewable electricity from a specific project through a special utility tariff rate. The program would allow companies and municipalities to purchase new, locally sourced energy while supporting the development of renewable energy supplies in Indiana, according to the IAEE.
The program would also prevent utilities from shifting program costs and risks to non-participating utility customers and only charge participating organizations for the cost of the renewable electricity, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The companies and cities told the utilities that a program commitment by 10% of? commercial and industrial energy users could result in a $3.4 billion in new investment in renewable energy capacity, a windfall that could result in new jobs, more county tax revenue and an improvement in the state’s air quality.