Royal Bank of Canada, Shopify, and Bullfrog Power Inc. have signed a deal to buy a combined 90,000 megawatt-hours per year from a Berkshire Hathaway wind power project in southeast Alberta.
“With signing a power purchase agreement (PPA), we take on some of the risk of the renewable energy project,” Julia-Maria Becker, RBC’s senior manager for sustainable enterprise operations, told BNN Bloomberg. “Therefore, we make the project more attractive in the market.”
The 26 turbines at the 130-megawatt Rattlesnake Ridge project are expected to start operating in May, with capacity to power 78,000 average homes. The project is slated to employ 150 construction workers at peak development and contribute C$56 million to the economy.
RBC said the PPA is one more step towards the goal of sourcing all its electricity from renewable and non-emitting sources by 2025. The bank previously signed an agreement in 2020 to source 84% of its energy from a solar farm, Bloomberg says. (Although its huge, persistent fossil fuel investments are a whole other story.)
For the other companies, the PPA signals a shift away from fossil energy, and the partnership was essential to create sufficient demand for the project.
“A global transition to clean energy is critical for powering commerce and entrepreneurs,” a Shopify spokesperson said.
Berkshire Hathaway’s energy business has been expanding its renewable energy ambitions to create what CEO Warren Buffett calls a “leading force” in wind and solar power, Bloomberg writes. Among the multinational conglomerate’s other renewable energy ventures is a proposed wind and solar complex in Iowa that could be one of the industry’s largest.