Constellation, ComEd in historic energy matching deal: companies

September 15, 2023

The hourly carbon-free power matching agreement will see ComEd power all of its offices and facilities with domestically produced nuclear power, in a “first” for an investor-owned US utility. Constellation earlier this year signed a similar hourly energy matching agreement to power Microsoft’s data center.

Constellation says hourly matching represents an evolution in the clean energy transition (Image: Constellation)

The agreement means ComEd will be the first investor-owned utility in the United States to power its facilities with 100% clean energy that is produced at the same time and place it is consumed, according to Constellation.

“Matching clean energy production to when and where a customer uses it is the only way we can achieve net-zero carbon emissions across our economy,” said Joe Dominguez, President and CEO of Constellation. “After this summer of record-breaking weather, it is clear that hourly matching must become the standard in our industry for the United States to have any reasonable chance of reaching its 2050 climate goals and preventing the worst impacts of climate change.”

ComEd’s hourly zero-carbon energy purchase will be consistent with its projected electricity use of approximately 65,000 megawatt-hours across its 54 offices and metered facilities, including its headquarters, regional and reporting centers, business offices, training and special-use facilities and substations.

ComEd CEO Gil Quiñones said the hourly matching solution provides an important tool to address the challenges of climate change. “ComEd is committed to doing everything we can to help Illinois achieve its goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, and that includes reducing fossil fuel use and cutting carbon emissions at our facilities every hour of every day,” he added.

According to Constellation, most companies in the USA that want to achieve net-zero goals do so by purchasing annual Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which match their estimated annual energy use with non-emitting sources – which may be located anywhere in the country. The country. , and energy may not be generated at the time the customer actually consumes it. Therefore, the energy a customer uses with a renewable energy center may actually come from a carbon-emitting plant.

In contrast, hourly matching means meeting a customer’s electricity needs from local, carbon-neutral generation at the time and place required. Constellation collaborated with Microsoft to develop an advanced software and analytics solution to do just this. Microsoft then became the first customer to use this technology, using the system to enable a data center in Virginia to use nuclear power to supplement renewable sources and enable it to become a nearly 100% carbon-neutral operation.

“We are pleased to see more companies choosing hourly matching as part of their sustainability strategy,” said Adrian Anderson, general manager of renewable and carbon-neutral energy at Microsoft.

Constellation Energy Corporation was launched in January 2022 after spinning off Exelon’s competitive utility and energy businesses. It operates the United States’ largest fleet of nuclear power plants as well as hydro, wind, and solar generation facilities. ComEd, an Exelon company, does not generate electricity but provides electric service to more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois — about 70% of the state’s population.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

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