2030 Finance | June 15, 2017

Goldman brokers renewable energy, including for itself

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President Trump is touting a new coal mine in southwestern Pennsylvania. But in the northeastern part of the state, a wind farm cut a deal with Goldman Sachs.

The White House’s favorite bank agreed to buy 68-megawatts of electricity directly from the developer, NextEra Energy, in Scranton. The arrangement will power Goldman’s New Jersey data center and help the bank meet its goal of 100% renewable power by 2020.

Perhaps more importantly, it gets Goldman into the business of connecting corporate buyers of electricity with renewable-energy developers. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein has been outspoken on climate matters; he took to Twitter for the first time to condemn the White House’s reversal on the Paris Agreement.

Goldman and other Wall Street banks anticipate corporate demand for direct renewable energy deals as prices for solar and wind power drop. Goldman wants to position itself as a bridge between developers like NextEra and corporate buyers, assembling power-purchase agreements and buying large amounts of power to syndicate out to smaller buyers.

As for Goldman itself, it’s 90% of the way to its goal.