Sunday Morning Learning Opps

Controlling Long-Term Energy Costs with Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements

  • Sunday, July 30
  • 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
  • Minneapolis Conv Ctr
  • 208C
  • SK


Michael Masch

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Howard University

Washington, District of Columbia

Chris O'Brien

Director, Higher Education Programs and Faculty;

Edison Energy

Washington, District of Columbia


Utilities are one of the largest non-payroll operating costs at most colleges and universities. Volatile energy commodity markets expose university utility budgets to unpredictable price fluctuations and, over time, energy costs rise. At the same time, climate and sustainability commitments have motivated many institutions to reduce their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are emerging as a compelling way for campuses to address all of these concerns. Unfortunately, the renewable energy marketplace is opaque, complex, and still relatively new. Speakers will review renewable energy products and trends, outline the basic structures available in PPAs—including both smaller-scale, on-site installations and utility-scale, off-site projects—and present case studies from American University and Howard University.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine how to reduce exposure of conventional energy by hedging with renewable energy.
  • Review the process for competitively sourcing lower-cost, renewable energy power purchase agreements.
  • Craft energy goals and map the PPA decision-making process for your institution.