As of September, 62 of the country’s largest corporations had indicated their energy priorities by endorsing the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles. Other large institutions such as universities and military bases are moving in that direction as well.
Adam Kramer, the executive vice-president of strategy for Switch, a “transformational technology idea engine,” reflected on the company’s thinking in choosing Michigan for a new facility.
He said, “Our first question was: ‘Can you get us our power needs?’ The second question was: ‘Can you get us 100 percent renewable?’ If the answer was no, Michigan wasn’t going to be part of the site selection. From our perspective, energy is our lifeblood.”
States are eager to meet these companies’ demands, seeking the economic development prizes that follow.
“If we just think about large IT companies and the next big data center, access to 100 percent renewable energy for many of them is a requirement,” said Ryan Hodum, vice president of David Gardiner & Associates, a clean-energy adviser to businesses. “So a state that doesn’t provide that is at a competitive disadvantage.”