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VPPAs: shaping the renewable energy landscape

VPPAs: shaping the renewable energy landscape

Thursday January 16, 2020

Choosing renewable energy has never been as popular—or as critical—as it is now. Virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) are an innovative way of procuring green electricity in Canada, and they promise to disrupt the renewable energy landscape and transform the benefits of choosing green power.

Watch this video from Bullfrog’s own Sean Drygas for a quick primer on VPPAs:


In the early years of power purchase agreements (PPAs), an energy buyer—usually a utility—contracted directly with a seller to purchase renewable power. Buyers typically had very large energy needs and were sophisticated energy managers in their own right; these physical PPAs were out of reach for most organizations. But with virtual PPAs, the fastest-growing transaction structure today, power does not physically flow from the seller to the buyer. By avoiding real-time scheduling and other complexities, these VPPAs allow companies without energy trading expertise to make quick and significant progress towards ambitious renewable energy goals.

Recently, a virtual power purchase agreement made Alberta’s first utility-scale solar project possible.

Increasingly, Canadian customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders are demanding sustainability progress—and proof that positive changes are being made. A VPPA seems to be a tailor-made solution to these demands, as they allow companies to meet their sustainability goals and point to a specific new renewable project that they helped get off the ground. In a time when consumers are increasingly wary of greenwashing, VPPAs offer concrete, measurable results.

Some companies are looking to VPPAs as a hedge against volatile electricity prices. When the buyer and seller are both in Alberta, the buyer essentially locks in their power price. A long-term VPPA can also provide insulation from rising power costs, making them as good for business as they are for the environment.

We are reaching a tipping point with renewable energy—as large, long-term VPPAs offer increasingly competitive pricing and as customers become more interested in supporting sustainable businesses, the reasons not to go renewable are quickly running out. For many large organizations, a VPPA is the best way to access renewable energy while circumnavigating regulatory hurdles and budgetary restrictions.

As Canada transitions to a green economy, we must show our support for climate solutions that align with business goals. With their measurable environmental impact, marketing opportunities, and potential financial benefits, VPPAs are well-equipped to help companies usher in the next decade of environmental progress.

Curious about how a VPPA could benefit your organization? Contact us at or fill out the form below.