Apr 30, 2024

Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement 101

Global adoption of renewable energy continues to grow, and with the rising price of energy, so does its value. More organizations are looking to capitalize on the economic and environmental benefits of decarbonization than ever before, and there are now a variety of deal structures available to enable businesses to meet their specific goals. 

Companies can take several approaches to procuring renewable energy, and each has its own unique features, benefits, and considerations. Read on to learn more about how your organization can leverage the various procurement methods available to them to reduce operating costs, comply with ESG standards, and manage energy price volatility.

Renewable energy procurement: Benefits beyond the bottom line

Investing in renewable energy resources like solar power comes with a variety of benefits for mid-to-large size companies. From generating economic savings to reducing your company’s ecological footprint, here are some of the benefits your business can see from procuring renewable energy:

  1. Reduced operating costs: If you currently face high utility rates for electricity, incorporating a renewable energy resource into your business's energy profile will reduce the amount of energy you have to purchase from the grid, which can lower your energy costs.
  2. Improved energy resilience: By supplementing your energy portfolio with a renewable energy resource like solar, your business’ operations become less reliant on an increasingly unreliable electric grid.
  3. Reduced energy price volatility: When you integrate a renewable energy resource into your operations, you are locking in the price of energy for the long term and benefiting from predictable, rate-secure clean energy.
  4. Lower emissions: Renewable energy sources are better for the planet than typical carbon-based sources because they produce electricity without emitting harmful greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. By procuring renewable energy, businesses can improve their compliance with ESG and emissions reporting mandates and lessen their negative impact on the environment.

Methods of renewable energy procurement

If your business is interested in procuring renewable energy, there are a range of approaches available to help you reach your decarbonization goals. From purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs), to signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) or operating lease, each of the approaches below comes with its own unique benefits and is achieved through its own financial mechanism.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

RECs are certificates that represent the environmental attributes of renewable electricity generation. They account for one megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable energy production and can be bought or sold separately from the renewable electricity itself. RECs enable businesses or individuals to support and claim the environmental benefits of renewable energy without physically using it. However, participating in the REC market involves navigating a complex legal and regulatory landscape.


  • Ability to claim environmental benefits of renewable energy
  • Provides support for renewable energy generation without directly using it
  • Flexibility in buying and selling RECs separately from electricity usage


  • Onyx understands the complexities of the REC market and can help navigate the  legal and regulatory landscape
  • Onyx anticipates changing REC values in today’s moving market and can serve as an advisor to stay ahead of these changes

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

A PPA is a long-term agreement (about 15-25 years) for the purchase of a predetermined amount of renewable energy at an agreed-upon price for a specific period. In a PPA, the buyer (offtaker) consumes the energy generated onsite by the renewable project. This is often referred to as 'behind-the-meter' or 'BTM' solar. PPAs provide price stability and enable direct support for renewable energy generation.


  • Long-term price stability
  • Direct renewable energy consumption
  • Opportunity for potential cost savings


  • Onyx provides financing fit for the length of the agreement and size of the project
  • With more than a decade of experience, Onyx knows how to navigate the regulatory complexities of PPAs and is a transparent partner you can trust to be there for the long-term

Operating Leases

An operating lease for renewable energy solutions allows the lessee to receive the benefits of on-site clean energy generation at a fixed monthly payment — no upfront costs or cap-ex required! These solutions often appeal to those looking for a stable energy payment. Operating leases also are utilized when local regulations prevent PPAs from being executed. An Onyx Operating Lease can allow landlords to provide triple net lease (NNN) tenants with clean energy. This off-balance sheet financing method can have an immediate impact on a facility’s net operating income (NOI) by lowering energy spend or generating revenue via tenant arbitrage.


  • Access to renewable energy assets without the burden of full ownership
  • No upfront costs or cap-ex required
  • Off-balance sheet financing
  • Feasible in states that don’t allow PPAs


  • Onyx provides crystal-clear operating lease terms and guidelines
  • Onyx provides a variety of customization options to their operating lease agreements 
  • Onyx handles all maintenance and repairs of equipment

Empower your organization with renewable energy

Each procurement approach has its own benefits and considerations, making each suitable for different organizational needs and decarbonization objectives. Understanding these options empowers organizations to choose the method that aligns best with their goals.

Choosing the right partner is the most important part of any business’s renewable energy journey. With a nimble approach to clean energy and a decade of experience developing, financing, owning and operating renewable energy projects, Onyx Renewables is a transparent and trusted partner that can help guide your organization to meet its unique sustainability goals. At Onyx, we will work with you to ensure a compelling legalized cost of energy (LCoE) while managing the system’s monitoring, operations and maintenance to ensure quality performance.

If you are interested in the economic and environmental benefits of procuring renewable energy, reach out to Onyx Renewables today to learn more about which procurement type best suits your organization’s needs.