Schneider Electric network to connect renewable, energy efficiency vendors

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Schneider Electric introduced the New Energy Opportunities Network, a collaborative online platform that helps commercial and industrial companies quickly identify and vet renewable energy, cleantech and energy efficiency prospects.

The network simplifies and accelerates the buying process by connecting end users to viable projects and technologies.

As a result, companies are able to find the right tools and financial vehicles to meet their sustainability goals — whether it's a power purchase agreement for electricity from a wind farm or distributed solar installed on a parking lot coupled with energy storage.

The NEO Network joins sustainability and energy managers at Fortune 1000 companies with technology providers, project developers and affiliates, such as investors and law firms, to bring greater transparency and standardization to transactions. Founding participants include AEG, Allergan, Bloom Energy, Equinix and VF Corp.

Schneider Electric will act as the network moderator, building the platform and qualifying the organizations that participate. The company will lend its energy management and sustainability expertise, which includes managing 40 GW of electricity load in more than 100 countries on behalf of clients.

"Solar or biomass? Grid connected or not? PPA or lease? The endless questions and combinations make it difficult for companies to move their sustainability programs forward with speed and confidence," said Steve Wilhite, Senior Vice President of Energy and Sustainability Services at Schneider Electric. "Add in the falling price of renewables and storage, and a mass of new industry players, and the picture gets even more blurred. Our vision is to remove the layers, the complexity, and advance informed decision making and partnerships."

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global energy consumption will increase more than 50 percent by 2040, with renewables becoming the fastest growing energy source. In addition, PPAs tied to offsite wind and solar projects more than doubled in the U.S. and Mexico last year. As the need for cleantech grows, along with technology and purchasing options, companies face the challenge of finding an ideal fit to support their climate action and business goals.

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