Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  August 27, 2018

Is Exxon turning to RE in Texas?

Exxon Mobil Corp. intends to purchase renewable energy for delivery in Texas. The company issued a request for proposals for long-term deals from solar and wind suppliers by June 8. The largest U.S. oil company asked for at least 100 megawatts and could go higher than 250 megawatts.

In a report from Bloomberg, Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg NEF, said, "I have never seen an oil and gas company doing a corporate PPA anywhere near that size." He also said, "If you’re seeing the biggest oil and gas companies going out and making investments in clean energy, it shows that renewables are cost-competitive. This can be a way for them to show a commitment to sustainability without suffering economically." Information on Exxon Mobil’s plans was obtained by Bloomberg on a confidential basis; Exxon declined to comment.

Bloomberg’s report noted that Exxon has lagged behind other Big Oil players such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc in adopting renewable energy technologies. However, it said, “as the price of renewable power declines, the company may see the value in consuming wind or solar, even if it eschews producing that kind of energy. Texas is the biggest wind-producing U.S. state, with power prices occasionally going negative on windy days, and solar power is cheaper than coal in many parts of the world."

"Good to see them dipping their toe in the water, but we’ll have to wait to see if they put their foot in the water," said Amy Myers Jaffe, a senior fellow for energy and the environment at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York.

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