At this stage, buyers interested in aggregation should seek potential partners. Aggregated deals will be most successful if all partners are highly motivated to complete a transaction and have similar priorities and goals. One way to screen for motivated partners is to find organizations that have passed formal climate or renewable energy goals or that have joined organizations such as Clean Energy Buyers Alliance, RE100, the Science Based Targets Initiative, America Is All In, Climate Mayors, and USDN. Ideally, potential partners will have already been considering a renewable procurement on their own.
Aggregation groups should remain small enough to be effective but large enough to continue with the procurement if one or two partners drop out. Case studies of aggregated renewables procurement suggest that creating a relatively small, core group of three to six partners can help ensure trust and group cohesion; additional partners can opt in later once the RFP terms have been determined. For example, the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project included 14 total buyers, but only 6 were involved in key decision-making on behalf of the procurement group. Procurement groups should also collectively have sufficient renewable energy demand to achieve meaningful economies of scale provided by utility-scale projects. Past aggregated transaction sizes have ranged between 5 MW and 345 MW.
When selecting partners, it is important to consider the following:
- Are there other local governments, public institutions, and corporations with which you have an existing relationship, including any with whom you have already done a joint procurement in the past, that might be interested in this project?
- Are there any local corporations or public institutions that have experience with physical or virtual PPAs that might be interested in this project?
- Are there any companies that have a large presence in your local community or are a large contributor to your community’s emissions that you can invite to join the project?
- What opportunities are there to advance equity by partnering with women- and minority-owned businesses, historically Black colleges and universities, or other entities that primarily benefit underserved communities?
Before joining, each additional partner should follow the process outlined in the section, “Get Internal Buy-In.”