We all know energy prices are rising and that renewable energy is a good thing. Some of you may have even installed solar panels on your home. Therefore, it's safe to say California is leading the nation with its renewable energy efforts and it’s prices tend to reflect those efforts in the form of higher utility bills. For those running a business in the Golden State, the first topic is of great importance, especially in large manufacturing & growing operations. At Premier, we’ve witnessed these price increases first hand and realize there’s several relevant policies that business owners should be aware of.
The first is a bill that was established in 2002 and is often referred to as the RPS or Renewable Portfolio Standard. It is one of the most aggressive renewable targets set by any state in the entire country and requires California electric utilities, service providers and aggregators to procure 33% of their total procurement from a renewable source by 2020. In 2013, Premier’s local investor owned utility (PG&E) was at 23.8%. Under existing contracts, they’re on track to hit 31.3% by 2020.
Amidst all this chaos in the energy markets, Premier signed a contract in 2013 that would stabilize a large percentage of its energy prices and hedge against market fluctuations. This was a strategic decision and aligned directly with Premier’s sustainability goals. We’ve been working with the utility and 3rd party contractors for years in order to refine these efforts. As a result of this implementation, Premier is also on track to meet the RPS of 33% by the end of 2016. This energy/pricing hedge came in the form of a renewable fuel (walnut shells) that is converted to syngas on-site and delivered directly to our buildings.
This form of electrical generation is known as “distributed generation” and you can expect to see more of it at Premier Mushrooms in the coming years. Premier has set a fairly ambitious target of procuring 100% of its electricity consumed on-site from a renewable source by 2020. As prices rise and markets fluctuate, Premier will continue forward in its pursuit of renewable, reliable and predictable power.
This goal directly results in a stabilization of Premier’s production costs and allows the Colusa Mushroom Farm to focus on what it does best - growing mushrooms.
Next month’s sustainability update will discuss Greenhouse Gases, the EPA’s clean power plan and how it all ties into our efforts here at Premier Mushrooms.