Ocotillo Wind Farm

A High-Impact REC Case Study




Real estate

Carbon credit platforms


Venture capital

Our planet's future hinges on immediate, decisive action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly Scope 2 emissions, which stem from the energy we consume. Meeting our climate goals requires a transformative shift in how we power our world.

Educated consumers, investors, and employees are increasingly asking companies to step up their efforts to do more for climate. Whether as a result of stakeholder pressure, in an effort to align actions with values, or simply to be compliant with current or future regulations, many forward-thinking brands are proactively committing to do more.

At Ever.green, we imagine a future where every company, regardless of size, can contribute to this shift, turning sustainability commitments into tangible actions that have real impact on the energy transition.

Market Context

In 2022, approximately 314,000 companies purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the US to meet their sustainability goals. Most of those were purchased for very low prices – and for a single year at a time – on the spot market. These RECs are widely considered to have little to no impact on the energy transition. Some consider them the “tip jar” of renewable energy (nice, but not enough to pay the bills).

On the other end of the spectrum, only a select 732 companies in 2022 (companies like Google, Microsoft, and Walmart) secured large-scale, long-term power purchase agreements (VPPAs). These VPPA’s represent 40% of the voluntary market’s volume and while meaningful in driving new project development, come with minimum size requirements (usually >100,000 MWH per year), long contract lengths (12-15 years), strict credit requirements, the ability to tolerate energy price risk, and an extremely complex contracting and procurement process.

Ever.green offers high-impact RECs as an alternative solution to spot market RECs and traditional VPPA’s. Ever.green’s REC contracts are sold at a meaningful price for a 5-10 year term, and carry an attestation of additionality, meaning they make a material impact to the financeability of the project. In addition, buyers can join Ever.green projects by committing to as few as 1,000 MWh, and without needing to provide credit (as that is part of the value Ever.green brings.)

Ocotillo Wind Farm

Project Selection

Ever.green’s approach is first to seek out projects that need additional financing in the form of REC contracts to be financially viable. Once those are identified, we take steps to ensure they also meet our clients' standards for environmental stewardship, community impact, and social responsibility.

In early 2023, we connected with Clearway Energy and learned about their efforts to save an aging wind farm in Big Spring, Texas. Initially launched in 2008, the Ocotillo farm faced decommissioning as its equipment aged. Clearway Energy undertook a comprehensive refurbishment initiative of this 55 MW wind farm, which included upgrading generators and turbine drive trains across the farm's 26 turbines. These enhancements not only nearly doubled the farm's generation capacity but also extended its operational lifespan and use of the existing materials including the towers, nacelles, and blades by 10-12 years, ensuring continued contribution to renewable energy production.

There was a catch, though: the power from Ocotillo was to be sold on the ERCOT wholesale market, where prices often drop to very low rates. This introduces the risk that costs won’t be covered and a return on investment won’t be made. In addition, wind farms also face “curtailment,” or periods of being shut down to minimize losses. To make the project financially viable, it was critical that Clearway find a long-term buyer for the RECs. That’s where Ever.green came in.

Ocotillo refurbished wind turbines

Collective Action Drives Change

While constructing new wind and solar farms is essential for expanding our renewable capacity, it is equally crucial to enhance the efficiency and longevity of existing assets. This dual approach of revitalizing aging assets alongside building new ones ensures a more sustainable use of resources and accelerates the overall energy transition.

Velocity matters in climate, as it is far easier to avoid emissions today than it is to remove and sequester it in the future. The speed at which capacity can be brought back on-line through refurbishment is markedly faster, since interconnection and utility connection are already in place. This message resonated with a group of buyers who were looking to do more with their sustainability budgets.

Enough interest coalesced to allow Ever.green to contract for the project’s firm RECs, which were then sold in back-to-back contracts to end buyers. One selling point that won over the buyers was the ability of companies with small electricity requirements to participate. The contracted amounts vary for the project, with the smallest covering just 1,000 RECs annually, or 1,000 MWh.

Over time, the number of REC buyers on the project grew to fourteen – representing all kinds of industries, including tech, retail, real estate, carbon credit platforms, agencies, and venture capital. The fractionalization of the project is what ultimately allows for democratization of impact.

The collective of buyers also includes Arrow Electronics, software firms like Trimble, Autodesk, Stripe, Samsara, TaskUs, Ripple, and Medallia, and apparel maker Brooks Running.

Among this motivated collective of buyers was Atlassian, who played a pivotal role in co-creating our ESG impact scorecard along with input from the Nature Conservancy. This framework was instrumental in understanding the environmental, social, and economic benefits of the Ocotillo wind farm project, ensuring it aligned buyers’ sustainability values.

For Brooks Running, the RECs from the Ocotillo project will cover 80% of the energy consumption at their headquarters, two stores in Seattle, and their distribution center in Indiana, as David Kemp, the Director of Corporate Responsibility, proudly states.

The Ocotillo wind farm came online in Q1 of 2024 and the first batch of RECs was delivered the following quarter.

An Ongoing Commitment to Service

Ever.green’s commitment doesn’t end at thoughtful project selection. Each quarter, we retire RECs on behalf of our customers. This is a meticulous process, which includes associating the ERCOT REC serial numbers with an hour and day, determining which customer gets which REC serial number, and associating each hour with other information from partners, including the production-weighted average nodal energy price from ERCOT and the estimated avoided emissions from WattTime. The goal is to ensure transparency and accountability in every step.

Together, these companies and Ever.green are crafting a new chapter in renewable energy. Their collective efforts are not just reducing emissions—they are forging a path towards a future where environmental responsibility is within reach for all. Our buyers are a meaningful part of this journey, deeply invested in ensuring their contributions drive genuine change.

Ocotillo Wind Farm

Ever.green is the trusted marketplace for
clean energy tax credits and high-impact RECs