Innovation in Corporate Clean Energy: Atlas Renewable Energy is Leading the Way in Latin America

As corporate sustainability ambitions escalate and the public becomes increasingly vigilant against greenwashing, a growing number of companies find themselves grappling to achieve their environmental targets. A revealing report by Net Zero Tracker, a collaboration among environmental nonprofits and research organizations, indicates that less than 5% of companies with net-zero targets meet the minimum procedural requirements for credibility.

This stark reality underscores the importance of decarbonizing energy sources for businesses striving to align with their environmental aspirations. In this context, Atlas Renewable Energy is at the forefront in Latin America, establishing key partnerships with businesses seeking renewable energy solutions, thereby setting a benchmark for sustainable practices in the industry.

Renewable Energy and Business in Latin America

Latin America has long been a dynamic market for renewable energy. Its abundant natural resources give it special opportunities to produce clean energy, as well as an increased exposure to the effects of climate change that promotes a sense of urgency. Historically, the region’s primary renewable energy source has been hydroelectric production, but more recently there has been a new focus on other sources of renewable energy, like wind and solar. Currently, a quarter of the energy produced in Latin America is renewable – twice the average of the rest of the world. Total renewable energy capacity in Latin America is over 300 gigawatts (GW), with 54 GW of that being solar photovoltaic.

Many members of the business community have embraced the region’s focus on the environment and climate change. Both local companies and international corporations with significant operations in the region have set ambitious sustainability goals, including the use of renewable energy in their operations. For corporations that require large-scale energy consumption to function, like large tech companies, mining outfits, chemical producers, front-runners in green hydrogen, and others, a renewable energy requirement can pose a major challenge. Relying upon local grids that do not supply fully green energy can make meeting sustainability goals impossible.

To solve this problem, many corporations with substantial energy needs are turning to Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), in which a company that produces renewable energy as wind and solar power plants sells that energy directly to a business at a set rate over a long time-period, providing stability and predictability in both supply and price, at rates lower than those set by public utilities in a tailor-made arrangement to the energy consumer needs.

According to the International Energy Association (IEA), over the last decade, the creation of PPAs has exploded around the world, from less than a gigawatt’s worth of capacity in 2013 to around 13GW of new capacity in 2018 and an astounding 51GW in new agreements in 2022. Corporations across industries have been jumping in, from tech companies like Amazon and Meta to communications giant Verizon, and from car manufacturer Ford Motor to prominent Latin American companies such as the Brazilian mining giant Vale, reflecting a diverse and growing commitment to renewable energy solutions.

A Capable Partner

A changing regulatory landscape in Latin American countries has made the purchase of clean energy through PPAs more attractive than ever but has also often made the process even more complicated. Atlas Renewable Energy is a producer of renewable energy that helps companies navigate this environment to make the most of their investment through tailor-made PPAs that fit the needs and goals of companies looking to cut costs, reduce risks and meet ambitious sustainability goals.

Founded in 2017, Atlas Renewable Energy has a proven track record of successful operations across the region. In 2021, Bloomberg NEF recognized Atlas as the number one provider of renewable energy for corporate partners in Latin America. Atlas also ranked 6th globally, which is especially significant given Atlas’s status as the youngest company within the top six, showcasing its rapid ascent and impactful presence in the renewable energy sector.

The PPAs created by Atlas in Latin America involve building solar photovoltaic power plants or wind farms to provide partners with renewable energy together with pioneer solutions such as batteries. Though renewable energy is inherently variable, the agreements that Atlas creates include around-the-clock energy, relying upon a portfolio of all-renewable energy. Altogether, Atlas Renewable Energy has constructed a robust portfolio with a companied capacity of 4GW, of which approximately 2.2GW is currently operational across Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. The company’s diverse client base includes major international conglomerates like mining company Anglo American and chemical companies Dow and Unipar, as well as important local players such as Albras, Brazil’s largest aluminum producer.

Atlas’s recent PPA with the largest individual industrial unit in Brazil, Albras, an aluminum producer, illustrates its leading role in the region. The 902MWp capacity project is set to produce a staggering 2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power per year, equivalent to the amount it would take to power Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, with its population of three million people. The agreement is set for a 21-year term, making it the longest-term PPA ever signed in Latin America. Albras’s choice to create such a long-term agreement on its second PPA with Atlas demonstrates the confidence partners feel when working with Atlas.

While many PPAs are denominated in local currency, the Atlas-Albras PPA is denominated in US dollars, an innovative structure made possible by innovative PPA structuring, international financing solutions, and recent regulatory changes within Brazil. This option is meant to insulate the off-taker from the risk involved in currency fluctuations. The ability to create bespoke structures and terms that build upon innovation and current regulation makes Atlas Renewable Energy uniquely adept at creating PPAs in the Latin American region.

Real Results, Real Change

The benefits of creating a PPA with Atlas Renewable Energy are multidimensional. As mentioned, for large energy consumers purchasing renewable energy directly from the producer of that energy can be crucial to meeting ambitious sustainability goals. In addition, the signing of a PPA also signals to the market that a company is serious about sustainability, making it more attractive to both customers and investors.

Beyond these advantages, Atlas Renewable Energy offers clients the option to complement their renewable energy purchase with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). By acquiring RECs, companies can credibly claim that the electricity they consume is matched by an equivalent amount of renewable energy generated and fed into the grid, thereby supporting their sustainability claims. Furthermore, the option to purchase carbon credits allows these companies to offset their remaining carbon footprint, providing a comprehensive approach to achieving their environmental and sustainability objectives. These options add a tangible and quantifiable impact to a company’s environmental initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy use.

Beyond the important business considerations in creating a PPA, companies that partner with Atlas can know that they are making a real difference for the environment and local communities. Atlas is dedicated to all aspects of sustainable development, including the social dimension. Each project Atlas creates includes initiatives to improve the lives of the local communities, based on the specific needs of those communities. This includes educational programs that provide technology and other resources to schools, promoting sustainable living through education and resources, and the active recruiting and training of women to promote gender diversity within the industry. These are just a few examples of Atlas’s ambitious efforts on the nine UN Sustainable Development Goals they have targeted.

By entering into a PPA with a socially and environmentally responsible partner like Atlas, a company is reaffirming its commitment to corporate responsibility and is doing its part to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Atlas Advantage

In a business atmosphere that increasingly values corporate responsibility and sustainability, both specifically in Latin America and globally, a Power Purchase Agreement with Atlas Renewable Energy is instrumental for businesses with substantial energy consumption requirements to achieve their goals. Atlas’s experience and proven track record in Latin America, combined with its expertise in catering to large-scale energy consumers, make it a preferred partner in this complex arena.

Additionally, Atlas’s capability to build and implement multi-country solutions is a significant asset, allowing businesses operating in multiple Latin American countries to integrate their energy strategies effectively. This approach not only meets their individual energy needs but also aligns with broader sustainability objectives across different national operations, highlighting Atlas’s versatility and commitment to providing comprehensive renewable energy solutions.

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