Lower emissions are one of the many goals being set by corporations across the country to reduce their carbon footprint and exercise corporate responsibility. Naturally, every company has its own unique set of hurdles to overcome in setting and attaining such goals. In this conversation Amy Bond, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager at Sprint explains how Sprint started looking into what it could do to procure energy from renewable sources back in 2008, but nothing fit their situation at that time. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s an entirely different story.
Join Smart Energy Decisions Founder, John Failla as he speaks to Amy about Sprint’s journey. Joining the conversation is Scott Macmurdo, Business Development Director at Duke Energy, Sprint’s partner in its recent Virtual Power Purchase Agreement.
Outline of This Episode [0:33] John’s introduction of this conversation from the 2019 Renewable Energy Sourcing Forum [1:20] Amy Bond’s big announcement: Sprint’s first PPA with Duke Energy Renewables [4:20] The beginning of Sprint’s journey, the SED conference in Austin, TX [6:20] Starting on the journey with no overarching climate goals [8:09] Internal and practical obstacles faced in getting the deal done [12:36] Explaining the opportunity across departments [15:17] Key things corporate buyers should be thinking about [21:13] How the CEO was enlisted as an ally early in the process Sprint’s first Power Purchase Agreement in partnership with Duke Energy Renewables At the recent 2019 Renewable Energy Sourcing Forum, Amy shared the culmination of Sprint’s journey for the first time. It’s a 12 year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement that Duke Energy has put together. Duke will build and operate a 182-megawatt wind farm in West Texas and Sprint will purchase 95% of the output from the facility for use in its facilities. Amy says that amount us almost 30% of Sprint’s entire energy consumption.
But please understand, Sprint did not come to this place overnight. Their journey toward sustainability goals that made sense for them as a company was begun in 2008. Ten years later, it’s finally coming to fruition.
Ten years of trying, iterating, and striving to come to renewable energy success Sprint first launched its environmental goals in 2008 and hoped to meet them by 2017. One of those goals was to acquire 10% of the company’s energy from alternative sources by 2017. Those goals were not met. The first option the company considered was the purchase of hydrogen fuel cell racks in 2008. The project proved to be impractical from a cost perspective.
The first VPPA Sprint ever considered came in 2014, but again the economics didn’t make sense at the time. But Amy says that the unexpected by-product that came from those efforts was that an internal renewable energy team was assembled, so when 2018 came around all of those team members were still with the company and were still interested in working toward a way to reduce emissions as a company. This gave them a jump start on moving projects forward once the costs were more aligned with their goals and needs.
Sprint had no overarching climate goals - but engaged with renewable energy anyway The goals Sprint generated back in 2008 were never realized. When Amy came to see that the practical and financial limitations previously experienced were no longer the case, she began pitching the idea to key stakeholders right away. Through months of discussion and hard work, the team cooperated with Duke Energy Renewables to put a plan in place that everyone involved could sign off on.
Notice something important - Sprint had no renewable energy goals in place at the time but the company was able to move forward anyway. Don’t let any perceived lack in your renewable energy policy or goals hold you back from moving to reduce emissions for your company. You can