Wins Approval as Power Marketer
Lake Mary, FL – BlueChip Energy, LLC (BCE) today announced that it has received an Authorization Order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granting it Market-Based Rate Authorization. Also known as Power Marketer status, the order, approved by FERC on June 28, 2011, allows BCE to purchase and sell wholesale electricity and offer renewable energy power products to wholesale customers.
Together with the Exempt Wholesale Generator (EWG) status received earlier this year for its two utility-scale solar farm projects, BCE’s Power Marketer status is an important milestone for the independent solar power producer, enabling it to reach its goal of providing solar PV electricity to wholesale customers at costs competitive with other conventional and renewable technologies.
“BlueChip Energy’s Power Marketer status and the EWG status for our solar farms provide us with greater access and flexibility in serving our customers,” said James Pennington, Utility Scale Project Development Manager at BCE. “Among other things, the authorizations allow us to offer green energy products to our customers with a guaranteed content of renewable electricity.”
Voluntary customer demand for affordable electricity supplied from renewable energy sources has increased exponentially in recent years. According to a September 2010 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) entitled “Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report”, the total number of customers purchasing green power increased by 44% in 2009.
Meanwhile, technological advances and economies of scale have helped push down the price for green power significantly: green power customers paid only about 1.5 cents more per kWh than customers of coal, oil, gas or nuclear electricity.
According to the NREL study, total retail purchases of renewable energy in voluntary markets exceeded 30 million MWh in 2009, or about 1% of total demand, indicating the enormous growth potential of the green power market.
The majority of renewable energy kWh is currently sold to businesses looking to
- Reduce the environmental impact of their operations;
- Hedge against electricity price volatility, fuel supply disruptions and possible future environmental
regulations that would make conventional electricity more expensive;
- Demonstrate civic leadership, generate positive publicity and meet organizational environmental
Following the trend, internet search giant Google recently grabbed news headlines for its application for market-based rate authorization. Other large companies with similar authority include Wal-Mart, Alcoa, the Safeway grocery store chain, Kimberly-Clark, and Merck & Co.
With the market-based rate authorization, BCE has begun working together with Florida utilities to provide solar electricity to customers preferring clean renewable energy over polluting and dangerous coal, oil, gas and nuclear power.
About the BlueChip Energy Group
The BlueChip Energy Group is a fully-integrated solar power company, occupying all segments of the solar power value chain, from the manufacturing of solar panels and balance of systems components by its wholly-owned subsidiary Advanced Solar Photonics, to the development and construction of turnkey solar power plants, to the sale of solar electricity to utility, commercial, and industrial customers.
BlueChip Energy’s two utility scale solar projects, the Rinehart Solar Farm (10 MW) and the Sorrento Solar Farm (40 MW), received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) as self-certified small power production facilities, or Qualified Facilities (“QF”) earlier this year, requiring the local utility to provide interconnection to them and purchase the electricity they produce. Additionally, these two solar farms have received approval to operate as Exempt Wholesale Generators (“EWG”), providing the facilities with undisputed access to the power distribution network.