(This post is part of a series about Second Nature Corporate Partners and what we do together)
Creative partnerships allow Second Nature to introduce and disseminate solutions to the Network widely and effectively. To support and advance the work of the institutions in the Climate Leadership Network, Second Nature works with organizations and firms at the leading edge of solutions. We base our corporate partnerships on transparency and mutual benefit, with the best interests of our community in mind to ensure our partnerships are transformational and successful, not merely transactional.
Open Road Renewables
Name of Company: Open Road Renewables
Company Description and Sustainability Profile:
Open Road Renewables is a utility-scale renewable energy project development company focused on the Mid-Atlantic (PJM region) and Texas (ERCOT region). Open Road’s founders have decades of experience developing renewable energy projects that bring both savings and environmental benefits to customers like the signatory institutions within the Second Nature community. For campuses located in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio, there’s a good chance that one of our off-site solar projects is well-positioned to serve your college or university’s load and support your Climate or Carbon Commitment. We hope to work together to demonstrate just how competitive off-site renewable energy has become.
Open Road Renewables efforts with Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Network will focus on helping signatory institutions learn more about the opportunity to transition from fossil-fuel based electricity supply to renewable energy based electricity supply, with a focus on regional and local renewable opportunities. The Open Road team has a deep background in project finance and we’re here as a resource to address considerations that improve or hinder a project’s “financeability.” Issues such as contract length, escalators, settlement location, performance guarantees, warranties, etc are all common contract areas that we have experience in and we’re happy to work with Second Nature to assist Network schools navigate the landscape of renewable energy opportunities.
There are many reasons that we’re thrilled to be joining forces as a Second Nature partner. First, we believe in the power of education. We believe that the core challenge we face in solving climate change is rooted in education. Education, too, lies at the heart of the opportunity to address climate change. We have great respect for the commitments that the signatory institutions have made and are hopeful that the actions being taken across Network campuses leads to the next generation of problem solvers.
Additionally, we see campuses as key pillars of strength within their local communities. The diversity and longevity of colleges and universities that make up the Second Nature community gives us great confidence that these campuses will continue to be thriving for many years. For this reason, Network signatories are well positioned to benefit from off-site renewable energy projects whereas other organizations that have less permanence may shy away from a 10, 15 or 20 year partnership for renewable energy supply.
Lastly, despite significant investments in efficiency, plant improvements, and a showcase on-site renewable project or two, campuses still have large energy needs to keep the lights on. Continued facilities growth and large energy consumption paired with carbon neutrality goals, leads to the need for an “all of the above” solutions approach. As part of the “all of the above” approach, our goal is to be a resource to illuminate the opportunity to contract directly with an off-site renewable energy for a portion of campuses’ electricity supply.