If you can’t beat them, join them. Nevada utility NV Energy has taken heavy fire for the dismantling of net metering in the state as well as facing a wave of its large electricity consumers jumping ship, and is taking a different approach with for one of its largest customers: Apple.
NV Energy has announced an agreement to sell electricity to Apple from a 200 MW solar project which the utility plans to build “by early 2019,” which will supply an Apple data center in Reno.
The power company says that it will file an application with state regulators to enter into a power contract for the plant, which will bring NV Energy’s total solar portfolio to over 529 MW either under construction or pending approval.
One interesting aspect of this deal is that it could have gone the other way around. As Apple has received federal approval to buy and sell power, it could have just as easily entered a contract to supply NV Energy. The tech company has made a commitment to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, and GTM Research says that this puts them on the leading edge of a new type of corporate customer.
“This is a continuation of the growth of corporate off-takers really understanding their energy needs and taking control of it,” GTM Research Colin Smith told pv magazine. “This seems to be NV Energy’s response that they need to handle these customers in a different way and are helping them meet these goals in a coordinated fashion.”