Tools & Resources
Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (vPPA)

Definition

A financial agreement in which a customer agrees to pay a project owner a predetermined price per unit of energy and the associated Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from a renewable energy project. Instead of the customer receiving the electricity physically, the project owner sells the energy into the local organized wholesale market; for each MWh, the buyer then pays or receives the difference between the wholesale market revenue and the predetermined PPA price.

Contract for Differences, Synthetic PPA, Financial PPA

Description

A virtual power purchase agreement (vPPA) is a way for cities to support renewable energy projects, and in some cases new project development, without physically taking ownership of the electricity. In a vPPA, a customer agrees to pay a specified price for the output of the renewable energy facility for a specified number of years, although the amount the customer pays is determined by market prices -- the buyer pays or receives the difference between the wholesale market revenue and the predetermined price. The buyer must specify in its contract that it receives the renewable energy certificates (RECs), which represent the environmental attributes of the renewable energy. Since this type of transaction relies on selling the generated power into an active market, vPPAs can only be signed with projects located within or close to an active wholesale electricity market. It’s important to note that a city does not necessarily also have to be in a wholesale market; any city in the U.S. could potentially enter into a vPPA. The data below only represents whether a vPPA is possible for a project within your state.

Primary Considerations

  • Is my state in a wholesale market?
  • Which market(s)?

Sources:
SharedRenewablesScorecard.org; SharedRenewables.org; DSIREusa.org; NREL.gov

Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (vPPA) Tools & Resources

Name
Author
Date
Type
3rd Party Solar PV Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) 2018 PPT
A State-by-State Policy Guide for Midsized Solar Customers National Renewable Energy Lab Factsheets
AWEA State Wind Energy Factsheets American Wind Energy Association 2019 Interactive Map
CAISO: Today’s Outlook: Price Map California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Interactive Map
CAISO: Today’s Outlook: Supply California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Database
DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) DOE/NC Clean Energy Technology Center 2018 Website
DSIRE Glossary Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) Glossary
Electric Power Markets: National Overview Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 2017 Interactive Map
GHG Emissions Calculator EPA 2017 Tool
Green Power Supply Options EPA GPP 2018 Website
IREC Glossary Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Glossary
ISO-NE Real-Time Maps and Charts Independent System Operator–New England (ISO-NE) Database
MISO Real-Time Displays Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Interactive Map
NYISO Energy Market & Operational Data New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Website
NYISO Reports & Info New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Website
PJM Interregional Data Map PJM Interactive Map
Policies and Incentives by State Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) Interactive Map
SEIA Solar State-by-State Factsheets Solar Energy Industries Association Q3 2018 Interactive Map
SLED (State and Local Energy Data) Department of Energy 2018 Database
SPP Price Countour Map Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Interactive Map
State-by-State Map of Energy Choice in the U.S American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers Interactive Map
U.S. EIA Glossary U.S. Energy Information Administration Glossary
Welcome to the SPP Integrated Marketplace Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Website
Wholesale Electricity and Natural Gas Market Data U.S. Energy Information Administration 2019 Database
Top