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ExxonMobil looks to buy renewable energy

Bloomberg reports that ExxonMobil is seeking to buy renewable energy for delivery in Texas.

According to a document obtained by Bloomberg, the US oil major is soliciting proposals from solar and wind energy producers, with a deadline of June 8, 2019.

Successful contracts will have a duration of 12, 15 or 20 years, but what is perhaps most surprising is the amount of electricity being sought. ExxonMobil is seeking at least 100 megawatts, but it will also consider pitches in excess of 250 megawatts, which would be an unprecedented power-purchase agreement (PPA) for an oil and gas company. To give a comparison, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) states that the combined PPAs of all the other oil and gas companies only amount to 85 megawatts.

ExxonMobil is based in Texas, which is the number-one US state for wind power generation. It is unclear what the company plans to do with the energy, but it is feasible that it could be used to power some of the company’s downstream activities, such as making the lubricants for Mobil distributors.

In the past, ExxonMobil has lagged behind other big oil companies in embracing renewable energy, although its algae-based biofuel may one day be viable on an industrial scale, giving cause for hope of a greener future.

An analyst at Bloomberg NEF, Kyle Harrison, said that the development shows renewable energy to be a cost-competitive option and indicates that major companies are showing their commitment to sustainable sources.

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