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Modern Decarbonization Strategies Depend on Modern Carbon Impact Data

Purchasing renewable energy is a means to an end: decarbonization. Yet, renewable energy projects are not all equal when it comes to cutting carbon. LMEs solve a pressing need for more accurate and transparent data.

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Purchasing renewable energy is a means to an end: decarbonization. Yet, renewable energy projects are not all equal when it comes to cutting carbon. 

 

At REsurety, we’re developing a new carbon impact measurement tool called Locational Marginal Emissions (LMEs) that measure carbon emission reductions at the granular level: the electrical node where the carbon-free energy is injected into the grid. 

 

What becomes clear when working at this level of granularity is that one clean energy project can have dramatically more carbon abatement impact than another – even when they are located just a few miles apart. For example, we assessed the Locational Marginal Emissions of two otherwise comparable solar projects in west Texas and found that one displaces twice the carbon emissions as the other. 

 

Our team sees better measurement of carbon impact as an urgent need. Over 300 companies have joined the RE100 initiative, committing to 100% renewable energy. These companies have increasingly turned to virtual Power Purchase Agreements (vPPAs) to meet their sustainability targets. But when a corporation purchases off-site renewable energy through a vPPA to offset a portion or all of its energy usage, it typically measures its carbon impact in megawatt-hours (MWh) which – depending on the project – can dramatically over- or underestimate the true carbon impact of that project’s operations.

 

A shift is now underway from 100% renewable to carbon zero – which is quite a different goal. Renewable purchases are easy to measure, while measuring the carbon they eliminate has been challenged by a lack of data. 

 

Nevertheless, two dozen tech firms and environmental groups appealed to the Biden Administration to adopt a 24/7 Carbon-Free energy approach like the one Google is employing to achieve “clean energy every hour, every day, everywhere.” In March, the Administration in its American Jobs Plan agreed to apply that standard to federal buildings.

 

More recently, on Earth Day 2021, President Biden doubled down on the U.S. carbon-cutting commitment, promising world leaders to put the U.S. on a path to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030.

The ultimate goal is clear: to reduce our carbon emissions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible to avoid further impacts of climate change. Which projects get us there the fastest and at the lowest dollar per ton avoided to date has been far from clear. As Google – which initiated the 24/7 Carbon-Free initiative in 2017 – has highlighted, the necessary data to track progress accurately “is generally unavailable.” We believe that LMEs solve that problem.

 

Our new white paper, “Locational Marginal Emissions: The Force Multiplier for Amplifying the Carbon Impact of Clean Energy Programs,” co-authored by Dr. David Luke Oates of REsurety and Dr. Kathleen Spees of The Brattle Group, dives into exactly why some renewable energy projects mitigate more carbon than others, and may thus be a better investment decision for meeting sustainability goals. “LME-based accounting can form the basis of more cost-effective public policies and corporate sustainability strategies,” Spees says, “by guiding the development of clean energy projects that maximize the carbon abatement value of every program dollar spent.”

 

The name Locational Marginal Emissions comes from the power-price corollary: Locational Marginal Price the cost to serve one MWh of incremental load at a given location. In other words: if you’re going to consume one incremental MWh at that location, what generator or set of generators is that energy going to come from, and how much does that “marginal” generator need to be paid to produce that incremental MWh? 

The Locational Marginal Emissions metric uses the same fundamental concept, but it incorporates the marginal generator’s emissions rates. By calculating the LME, we can accurately measure the carbon impact, or the emissions reductions, of generating clean power at any given moment at any given location on the grid. 

Referring back to our example of the two west Texas solar projects, when we analyzed the data for those otherwise comparable projects, we found that available transmission led to one project displacing coal in the peak of the day’s sunshine, while transmission constraints resulted in the other causing the curtailment of another nearby solar project.

 

Cumulative carbon emissions avoided by two wind projects and two solar projects in Texas show just how much carbon emissions avoided by renewable energy vary, even within a given sub-region on the ERCOT grid.

 
The Need is Pressing

Tackling climate change at a massive scale requires us to maximize the carbon impact of every dollar spent on clean energy. And not every megawatt or megawatt-hour is created equal. We need transparency around the actual carbon emissions avoided by a given renewable energy project in order to select and invest in renewable energy projects with the greatest carbon-reducing impact on a dollars-per-ton basis. 

We are not alone – companies and their stakeholders are calling for more accountability around their sustainability targets and investments, ensuring that the scale of their impact matches the scale of their good intentions.

 

Right now we’re working on what these corporate ESG leaders have been asking for: clearer, more transparent answers on how many tons of carbon emissions are actually avoided by the renewable energy projects they’re buying energy from.

 

Data-driven insights made possible by Locational Marginal Emissions will allow companies to select and invest in renewable energy projects with the greatest carbon-reducing impact.

If companies are serious about reducing their Scope 2 emissions from energy use, they need better data — data that reflects the actual carbon-intensive units their clean energy megawatt-hours are displacing. 


Reposted as in PowerMagazine.

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Devon Lukas
Risk and Transaction Analyst
Anshal Savla
Data Engineer

Anshal Savla is an engineer with expertise in building data pipelines and automated workflows.  Before joining the REsurety team, he worked as a Data Analyst at New York City Transit where he built a data pipeline to analyze employee attrition trends. At REsurety, he is working on building and optimizing automated data pipelines to support the company’s analysis of wind speed and electric power generation and pricing data.


Mr. Savla holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Information and Technology from NMIMS University, in India.

Irina Gumennik
Associate, Risk Analytics

Irina Gumennik is an environmental engineer and data analyst with more than 10 years of experience in the development of renewable energy projects. Irina was part of the team that permitted, constructed, and commissioned the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind energy project in the United States. Before joining REsurety, Irina worked for the world’s largest demand response service provider on demand-side solutions and battery storage products for commercial and institutional energy users. At REsurety, Irina evaluates weather-related volumetric risk and structures hedging contracts to mitigate that risk for clean energy buyers and sellers.

 

Ms. Gumennik holds a Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University.

Elizabeth Kalikasingh
Senior Analyst, Risk Analytics

Lizzy Kalikasingh is a materials engineer and scientist with experience in materials selection and optimization for wind and solar technology. Before joining REsurety, Lizzy researched polymer coatings to reduce ice adhesion for wind turbine blades and was involved in the selling of renewable energy credits generated by wind turbines in Cleveland.  Additionally, she worked as an operations engineer at EverPower Windholdings, where she designed tools to analyze the performance of wind turbines and auxiliary instruments. 

Ms. Kalikasingh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

David Simons
Software Engineer

David Simons is an engineer with experience in energy systems and data science. Prior to joining REsurety, David led the Systems & Analytics team at Enel X, building software to settle demand response events for the world’s largest DR provider. At REsurety, he develops and improves the analytics used to predict renewable energy revenue and quantify risk.


Mr. Simons holds a Bachelor’s degree in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from McGill University.

Daniel Jang
Power Markets Research Associate

Daniel Jang is a researcher with experience in fundamentals-based modeling of electric power systems. Before joining REsurety, he worked in the utilities practice at the Brattle Group, consulting on issues spanning wholesale and retail electricity in litigation and commercial contexts. At REsurety, he is helping to advance renewable power price analytics. 


Mr. Jang holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Princeton University.

Chris Marlowe
Associate, Operations
Brian Sousa
Risk and Transaction Analyst
Blair Allen
Product Manager, Information Services

Blair Allen is a product manager with experience in energy information services products that support both ends of energy market exposure, from the project development phase to managing merchant generation. Before joining REsurety, Mr. Allen worked at a large energy data and analytics company as the Chief of Staff to their Power business unit, helping to manage, develop, and grow the company’s global portfolio of electricity market products and services. Prior to that he worked as a Senior Market Analyst offering price and congestion forecasts to customers with physical or financial risk in the Mid-continent ISO.


Mr. Allen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Bucknell University, with a minor in Economics.

Barbara Donnelly
Office Manager

Barbara brings over 20 years of support experience to the REsurety team.  She has worked with startups and high-growth organizations to ensure an efficient and pleasant employee work experience.

Aaron Perry
Associate, Analytics – Risk Analytics

Aaron Perry is a meteorologist with experience in wind resource assessment, climate science, and numerical weather prediction. Before joining REsurety he worked for Vaisala, performing wind and solar resource assessments, and analyzing hundreds of pre-construction and operational projects around the world. As part of his Master’s studies he researched supply-side volumetric risk to renewable energy companies and the financial tools that may reduce this risk.  At REsurety Aaron evaluates weather related volumetric risk and structures hedging contracts to mitigate that risk for clean energy buyers and sellers.


Mr. Perry holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the Central European University in Hungary, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Manchester in the UK. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University.

Jessica Tomaszewski
Research Scientist

Jessica Tomaszewski is an atmospheric scientist with experience in boundary layer meteorology, numerical weather prediction, and wind resource assessment. Prior to joining REsurety, Dr. Tomaszewski completed a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship with a focus on simulating interactions between wind farms and the lower atmosphere. She also conducted two summer internships at NextEra Analytics investigating improvements to the wind farm wake modeling process. As a research scientist at REsurety, she investigates new techniques for wind flow and wake modeling and long-term wind resource prediction.


Dr. Tomaszewski holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s degrees in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma where she graduated with highest honors.

Aaron Nickelsberg
Product Manager
David Luke Oates
VP of Power Markets Research

David Luke Oates is an engineer and researcher with experience in statistical and fundamentals-based modeling of wholesale electricity systems.  Before joining the REsurety team, he was a consultant at the Brattle Group, supporting electricity market operators, utilities, and asset owners to address market design, asset valuation, and regulatory questions. At REsurety, he is helping to advance power price analytics in the context of emerging issues in the electricity sector.

 

Dr. Oates holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, Canada.

Jennifer Newman
VP of Atmospheric Science Research

Jennifer Newman is an atmospheric scientist with experience in boundary layer meteorology, remote sensing, machine learning, and wind resource assessment. Prior to joining REsurety, Dr. Newman completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with a focus on improving turbulence estimates from Doppler wind lidars. As a research scientist at REsurety, she investigates new methods for estimating the risk of potential wind projects.


Dr. Newman holds Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University where she graduated with distinction in research.

Tony Lapolito
SVP of Product

Tony Lapolito is the Senior Vice President, Product of REsurety.  He has been a part of multiple early stage companies that have generated well over $1B in liquidity.  Tony is a pioneer in many disruptive technologies including digital media, CDNs, cloud, distributed computing and big data.  He has held senior Product, Marketing and UX positions at Cisco Systems, BNI and SightPath (both acquired by Cisco), Chipcom (acquired by 3Com) as well as Signiant and SevOne. 


Tony holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a Masters of Business Administration from Boston College.

Adam Reeve
SVP of Software

Adam Reeve is a mechanical engineer and data scientist with a strong interest in the rapidly evolving renewable energy landscape. Before joining the REsurety team, he worked for a proprietary trading firm specializing in quantitative analysis of energy markets. His deep experience in data-driven analysis, model building, risk assessment and data visualization support REsurety’s analytical approach to quantifying and managing the weather-linked revenue risks of wind power projects.


Mr. Reeve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Political Science from Yale College, with a focus on energy and environmental studies. He graduated with distinction in both majors.

Carl Ostridge
SVP of Analytics

Carl Ostridge has more than 10 years of wind energy experience specializing in pre-construction and operational wind resource and energy yield assessments. Prior to joining REsurety, Mr. Ostridge worked for DNV GL analyzing and improving the accuracy of wind farm energy analyses and developing models to predict wind farm energy output and revenue on hourly timescales. He also led research activities focusing on turbine performance, wind flow and wake modeling, measurement instrument accuracy, and wind resource variability and long-term trends. His extensive industry experience and proven analytical skills support REsurety’s industry-leading tools and expertise in weather-related risk and valuation for renewable energy projects. 


Mr. Ostridge holds a Master’s degree in Astrophysics from the University of Exeter in the UK.

Lee Taylor
CEO

Lee Taylor is the Co-Founder and CEO of REsurety.  Since founding REsurety in 2012 to commercialize research he conducted at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Mr. Taylor has built a rapidly growing company, gained institutional financing and attracted top-notch talent, advisors and directors. Today, REsurety’s products are not only award winning, but are redefining the way clean energy buyers and sellers are thinking about and managing risk. Under Mr. Taylor’s stewardship, REsurety has amassed contracts supporting more than 5,000 MW of renewable energy generation capacity, and counts many of the U.S. — if not the world’s — largest companies as customers and partners, including Microsoft, Invenergy, Capital Power, Southern Company, Nephila Climate, and Allianz.


Mr. Taylor holds an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he was named an Edward Tuck Scholar (awarded for academic achievement) and recipient of the Lt. Walter Jacobs Memorial Prize (awarded for intellectual leadership). He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Biology from the University of Virginia.

David Luke Oates
VP, Power Markets Research

David Luke Oates is an engineer and researcher with experience in statistical and fundamentals-based modeling of wholesale electricity systems.  Before joining the REsurety team, he was a consultant at the Brattle Group, supporting electricity market operators, utilities, and asset owners to address market design, asset valuation, and regulatory questions. At REsurety, he is helping to advance power price analytics in the context of emerging issues in the electricity sector.


Dr. Oates holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, Canada.

Karl Critz
CTO

Karl Critz is a software engineer with experience in simulation, modeling, machine vision, and data visualization. His work in renewables has integrated solar power with smart residential load sources and optimized generation strategies for high-penetration wind. As an experienced software architect, Karl ensures that REsurety’s analytical infrastructure is functional, reliable, and scalable.


Mr. Critz holds a Master’s degree in Management and Engineering from MIT Sloan, where he received an NREL Innovative Research Analysis Award grant for wind integration research. Mr. Critz also holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

Jackson Myers
VP, Transaction Analytics

Jackson Myers has more than 7 years of experience in wind and solar energy operations. Prior to joining REsurety, Mr. Myers was a member of the meteorology team at Pattern Energy where he was responsible for the operational data analytics program. Prior to that, Mr. Myers worked at EDPR where he analyzed wind and solar plant performance and led a research program on the use of lightning detection technology at wind farms.


Mr. Myers holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from McGill University and a Master’s degree in physics from Rice University.

Jhané Thomas
DevOps Engineer

Jhané Thomas is a DevOps Engineer with a pervasive background in CI/CD and automation. Prior to joining REsurety, she worked at large company focused on developing computer processors and related technologies, where she improved their CI/CD pipelines and testing infrastructure. At REsurety, she is building and improving the CI/CD infrastructure as well as implement more DevOps practices.


Ms. Thomas is in the process of attaining her Master’s degree in Information technology and has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, both from Johnson & Wales University.

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Steven Kalt
Data Visualization Engineer

Steven Kalt is a full-stack developer with experience in data visualization, GIS, web design, and renewable energy origination. Before joining REsurety, he worked for Lux Research, designing interactive visualizations and developing research tools. At REsurety, Mr. Kalt works to build modular, scalable, and informative data visualization systems. 


Mr. Kalt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Amherst College in Massachusetts.

Praneeth Gurumurthy
Jr. Software Engineer
Pete Florenzano
Senior Data Engineer
Nathan Garcia
Software Quality Engineer
Eddy Page
Software Engineer, Data Science
David McDougall
VP, Software Sales
Caelin Schaefer
Risk and Transaction Analyst
Amit Ranjan
Power Markets Research Associate
Aaron Carbine
Sr. Software Engineer
Yu Wang
Software Quality Manager

Yu Wang is the Software Quality Engineering Manager at REsurety who lays out the quality vision and oversees the quality activities of REsurety’s Risk, Platform and Information products. Before joining Resurety, Mr Wang built his more than twenty years of Software Quality Engineering tenure at MathWorks, Teradyne, Motorola and Amica by leading technical projects, managing onshore and offshore quality engineering teams, working cross-functionally, delivering high quality on-premises, distributed and cloud based software applications.

Mr Wang holds a Master’s degree in Software Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.

 
Shane Hall
Software Engineer

Shane Hall trained as a mechanical engineer, but pivoted to software engineering after gaining academic research experience in the aerodynamic modeling of wind turbines. He has worked at ISO-NE modeling renewable resources, and as a software engineer in the energy consulting industry building financial software products and running commodity market forecasting to advise on procurement strategy in the C&I space. He has extensive experience in resource and market modeling, machine learning forecasting, and software product development.  At REsurety, Shane builds and improves software that analyzes renewable resources and assesses financial risk.


Mr. Hall holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineering, and a Certificate in Wind Power Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Marcial Santiago
Data Quality Engineer

Marcial Santiago is a data engineer with a background in software development and mathematics. Before joining REsurety and the renewable energy industry, he worked as a Data Specialist at McLean Hospital. Mr. Santiago’s background in mathematics and software development help ensure the quality of to REsurety’s data-intensive approach to risk evaluation and mitigation.


Mr. Santiago holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computational Mathematics from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.

Sarah Sofia
Software Engineer

Sarah Sofia is a photovoltaics engineer with extensive research experience in techno-economic analysis of solar cells and solar-plus-storage systems at high PV adoption rates. Prior to joining REsurety, Sarah performed doctoral research at MIT to determine how novel solar cell architectures and storage technologies could be made economically viable through combining experimental device fabrication, module manufacturing and system cost analysis, and location specific energy yield modeling to inform the optimal solar cell device design. At REsurety, Sarah is developing the team’s solar energy modeling software capabilities.


Dr. Sofia holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Astronomy with a concentration in scientific computing from Haverford College.

Sahar Shirani
Director, Engineering – Data Science

Sahar Shirani is a civil engineer with extensive background in data analysis and statistical model development. Prior to joining REsurety, she worked at a Boston-based startup focused on treating industrial water, where she conducted market analysis on commodities. At REsurety, she is building and continuously improving the data science platform that powers REsurety’s insights into the renewable energy markets.


Ms. Shirani holds a Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Amirkabir Unviersity of Technology, in Iran.

Peter Richardson
Engineering Manager, Visualization and Apps

Peter Richardson is an Engineering Manager at REsurety with a focus on data visualization. He has been at the crossroads of Energy markets and data management for over a decade working on a variety of projects including human capacity development for renewable energy systems in the Galapagos Islands and the buildout of analytic software packages for financial contracts in wholesale electricity markets. 


Mr. Richardson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Colorado College, with a minor in Mathematics. 

Owen Miles
Software Engineer

Owen Miles is a GIS specialist with experience in mapping and visualizing large environmental datasets.  Before joining REsurety, Owen worked in the environmental consulting field, where he specialized in numerical modeling and data visualization for environmental projects. At REsurety, he is building GIS and data visualization tools.


Owen has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University and a Bachelor degree in Water Resources Engineering.

Omri Schwarz
Software Quality Engineer

Omri Schwarz has a long career of software development, quality assurance, and full-stack software and hardware implementation in academic and commercial contexts. Prior to REsurety, Mr. Schwarz designed, developed and administered quality assurance processes at a quantitative hedge fund, operated Beowulf supercomputers at MIT, and developed software at Fraunhofer. At REsurety, Mr. Schwarz supports the developers by implementing and upgrading the QA process, putting stitches in time to save nine. 


Mr. Schwarz has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

Michelle Bowen
Director, Business Development

Michelle Bowen is a business development professional who is passionate about ushering in a new clean energy era. Before joining the REsurety team, she worked in origination of long-term renewable energy offtake agreements at a leading, global renewable energy company.

Michelle holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Rice University.

Matthew Livingston
Senior Associate, Risk Analytics

Matthew Livingston is a meteorologist with experience in weather forecasting and data analysis. Before joining the REsurety team, Matt worked for Penn State University as a researcher responsible for collecting and analyzing data retrieved from hail storms to help aid in the prediction of large hail events.


Mr. Livingston holds a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology with a focus in Weather Risk Management from the Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his meteorology degree, he also minored in Energy, Business and Finance.

Mark Brewer
Data Visualization Engineer
Marion Cundari
Senior Analyst, Transaction Analytics

Marion Cundari is a mechanical engineer with experience in both wind energy and energy efficiency program evaluation. While earning her bachelor’s degree, Marion helped develop a sound based wind turbine condition monitoring prototype as her senior project. After graduation and before joining REsurety, Marion calculated energy and demand savings associated with utility sponsored energy efficiency programs throughout the United States.


Ms. Cundari holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and a minor in economics from the University of Vermont.

Sinéad Barry-O’Brien
COO

Sinéad Barry-O’Brien is a leader in operations with proven execution across varied industries. Putting customers at the center of decision-making, she has driven growth through customer experience, team-building, and process improvement. Sinéad has supported global M&A strategies to build market share. She is passionate about scaling entrepreneurial companies in growth industries.


Sinéad holds a Master’s degree in International Public Policy and Diplomacy, from University College Cork, and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the National University of Ireland, Galway.