The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and its Business Renewables Center (BRC) have launched a new software platform that helps buyers and developers of renewable energy projects better understand which locations are more likely to be economically attractive across deregulated electricity markets in the United States.

The platform is aimed at helping large-scale buyers and developers of renewable energy, better understand market economics and price trends by location – helping users discover grid-connection locations where wind and solar have competitive value in the wholesale power markets.

“Big business is proving its commitment to climate action and renewable energy on the world stage right now,” said Hervé Touati, managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute. “In 65 per cent of the US, it’s possible to source wind and solar directly but, much like real estate, these renewable energy deals hinge on location, location, location. At the Business Renewables Center, we are working to educate business leaders with insights on economic value that help buyers and developers build better projects in ideal locations.”

The platform is built using publicly-available data from market operators, a levelised cost of energy calculation, and a proprietary algorithm to model hypothetical project revenue. This unique market analysis produces an estimated value calculation for approximately 4,300 nodes – or grid connection points – across all seven US independent system operators covering 39 states.

Available to the 200+ members of the Business Renewables Center, the tool will help to build a more complete picture of wholesale electricity market economics – based on real price histories for individual grid connection locations.

“Twenty years ago, many companies saw potential value in creating online business platforms but lacked the necessary skills and knowledge to do so,” said Stephen Abbott, Manager at Rocky Mountain Institute and project manager of the market analysis platform. “In similar fashion today, companies are starting to recognize the value of a flexible, low-carbon energy strategy, but many have little experience with energy markets. Though our software platform, BRC is working to streamline corporate procurement by bringing a new level of transparency to the industry.”

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) – Carbon War Room (CWR) is the world leader when it comes to tackling climate change through market-based solutions. The organisation – with the support of Virgin Unite – is working to catalyse the energy revolution, combat climate change, bolster economic prosperity and tackle the social and environmental issues created by the global dependence on fossil fuels.