SOLAR+STORAGE

Iron Mountain Data Centers are Among the First to Track Renewable Energy on an Hourly Basis

Iron Mountain | April 16, 2021

Iron Mountain Incorporated, storage, and information technology services provider reported today that it has taken a major step forward in the creation of improved technologies for buying renewable energy across easily accessible retail outlets by entering into an arrangement with RPD Energy and Direct Energy to monitor the hourly renewable energy load of Iron Mountain data centers.

RPD Energy and Direct Energy will provide Iron Mountain with a monthly report detailing the match between average hourly generation and Iron Mountain's real hourly offtake from the grid. Traceability and environmental statements are assured by green energy credits issued by EDP Renewables North America and sourced from the same renewable developer to uphold the credibility of the transaction's renewable effect.

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Incorporated, established in 1951, is the world's largest provider of storage and information management services. Iron Mountain stores and preserves billions of valuable properties, including vital business records, extremely sensitive data, and cultural and historical objects, and is trusted by over 225,000 organizations worldwide. It has a real estate network of nearly 93 million square feet across approximately 1,450 facilities in 56 countries. Iron Mountain helps customers reduce costs and expense, comply with laws, recover from disasters, and create a more modern way of operating by offering solutions such as safe records collection, identity security, digital transition, secure loss, as well as data centers, cloud computing, and art storage and logistics.

About RPD Energy

RPD Energy creates renewable energy options for businesses in the United States. RPD has directly sourced, flexible duration (2-8 years), right-sized contracts for renewable energy, and RECs from utility-scale wind and solar facilities that lack the complexity of conventional PPA/VPPAs. RPD Energy has been selected by Fortune 500 energy buyers to partner with their vendors to provide renewable energy contracts for their data centers, manufacturing plants, and corporate offices in many regions across the United States. The headquarters of RPD is in Houston, Texas.

Spotlight

Companies citing Climate Change as a ‘very significant’ sustainability focus jumped dramatically in 2019, increasing 14 percentage points to 52 percent. Climate Change, Ethics and Integrity, and Diversity and Inclusion continue to be the top overall priorities, as they were in 2018.

Spotlight

Companies citing Climate Change as a ‘very significant’ sustainability focus jumped dramatically in 2019, increasing 14 percentage points to 52 percent. Climate Change, Ethics and Integrity, and Diversity and Inclusion continue to be the top overall priorities, as they were in 2018.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

The Natural Fibers Alliance Calls for the Promotion of Natural Fibers and the Suspension of the HIGG Index

Natural Fibers Alliance | June 17, 2022

Effective immediately, the Natural Fibers Alliance (NFA) is calling for an immediate suspension of the use of the HIGG Index considering the recent New York Times article "How Fashion Giants Recast Plastic as Good for the Plant." Developed in 2012, the HIGG Index was created to help brands, retailers and manufacturers assess the sustainability of materials for use in footwear, garments, and other consumer products. Since that time many within the natural fibers community (leather, wool, fur, silk etc.) and fashion activists have voiced concerns over the index's questionable support of harmful synthetic materials made from fossil fuels that run counter to long term environmental sustainability goals. "It's simple, natural biodegradable fibers to include leather, wool, fur, silk, etc. are more sustainable and better for our planet than plastic clothing. The culture of fast fashion is as much consumer driven as it is a direct result of corporate greenwashing. The only way to lower environmental costs and impact is to buy clothing that lasts, repurpose older pieces and support a culture of slow fashion based on high quality long-lasting materials," says Mike Brown, head of sustainability and public affairs for the Natural Fibers Alliance. According to the Changing Markets Foundation (CMF), 'Fossil Fashion: The Hidden Reliance on Fossil Fuels', the use of such synthetic materials derived from crude oil and gas has doubled in clothing, creating both a reliance on the material and a boom in the cheap, fast fashion industry. This boom has had a direct environmental impact that will lead to an eventual ecological disaster. The CMF estimates the use of synthetic fibers will increase from 69% to 73% market share within the next 10 years. The NFA feels that legislation and effective regulation are the only clear path forward. Sustainable natural fiber derived products should be the norm, not the exception and the only way to achieve that is to level the playing field, placing responsibility on companies through their compliance with regulation, allowing customers to make informed choices rather than having that decision manipulated by data or overreaching animal rights activists. About Natural Fibers Alliance The Natural Fibers Alliance is a coalition of producers and associations in both the US and Canada that support the use of natural sustainable materials in clothing, accessories, and other goods.

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PRODUCTS,INDUSTRY UPDATES

Octopus Energy Launches Electric Vehicle Business in Texas with New Leasing Service

Octopus Energy | July 07, 2022

Renewable energy retailer Octopus Energy U.S. announced today the launch of Octopus Electric Vehicles (OEV), its new business line that will accelerate accessibility and adoption of EVs and smart charging. OEV’s inaugural product is EV Concierge, the first-ever integrated demand response EV leasing plan offered by an energy retailer. With EV Concierge, Octopus Energy will not only help customers lease an EV of their choice, but also seamlessly integrate smart charging and billing into their existing energy plan.New and existing customers living in Texas are invited to apply for the beta leasing program at octoev.us. The Octopus Concierge team will provide qualifying customers white glove service, helping soon-to-be EV drivers through the entire search and vehicle leasing process, including selection and delivery of a new or used EV of their choice, installation of an EV home charger and education on best practices for EV ownership. “Interest in electric vehicles is at an all time high. With Texas as the third-largest market for EVs, and a global leader in energy, we will be positioned to help customers realize vehicle and energy savings all on one bill, As fossil fuel continues to be impacted by inflation, it's never made more sense to get an EV paired with smart charging to extract the lowest priced energy from the grid. EV Concierge will ensure that new EVs enter our state optimized to create a more reliable, clean and affordable energy system.” -Chris George, Director of U.S. Octopus Electric Vehicles Core to the EV Concierge program is Intelligent Octopus, which allows customers to access power when it is cheaper and greener, while helping to balance the overall stability of the grid. Intelligent Octopus is powered through Octopus Energy’s proprietary Kraken technology platform that uses advanced data and machine learning to automate a majority of the energy supply chain. Customers who lease an EV and use a smart thermostat with Intelligent Octopus will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new, discounted energy plan that is 20% to 30% lower than the average 12-month energy plan in Texas today. This reduced rate plan will launch this summer. Initially launched in the UK in 2018, OEV has grown to offer an all-in-one service where Octopus leases the cars, installs home charge points, provides specialist EV energy tariffs, and offers access to over 250,000 public charge points across Europe via the Electric Juice Network. Its most popular product is EV Salary Sacrifice, which has allowed 1,500 UK businesses to switch their staff to electric vehicles with huge discounts of 30% and above. “We’ve seen that consumers are looking for experts that can offer the full EV package to guide them through their journey, With more EV models entering the market every month, and innovative tariffs like Intelligent Octopus making charging your car as easy as your phone, we only expect the transition to accelerate. ”We’re thrilled to be able to open up our ultimate EV package to millions of new customers both in the UK and the U.S. Our roads are transforming and we plan to lead from the front, making it easy for drivers to make the switch.” -Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles. Increasingly, EVs are being designed to not only allow drivers to go from Point A to Point B, but to also be used as a mobile power plant. An EV can hold enough energy storage to power a home for two to three days, offering the ability to significantly power a home during an emergency and fuel critical infrastructure despite shocks to the energy system. Michael Lee, CEO of Octopus Energy U.S., said, The modern retailer is here to support customers in ways beyond just selling electricity. This is especially true when it comes to emerging technologies, such as EVs, where energy retailers can maximize the value of the vehicle on the grid, including through vehicle-to-grid as this solution grows. Octopus Energy is here to accelerate the energy transition with integrated, innovative offerings that ultimately unlock lower costs and reliable power for our customers. The launch of EV Concierge comes one year after Octopus Energy U.S. landed in Houston to provide affordable, renewable energy to Texas homes. Since then, its customer base has grown 10x while the team has launched programs, like Superpower Savings, to reward customers who conserve energy and balance the grid while demand is high. To sign up or learn more about OEV, visit octoev.us. About Octopus Energy Octopus Energy Group is a technology-driven, renewable energy retailer, directly supplying over 3.2 million customers globally with 100% green electricity at a cheaper price and with a focus on incredible customer service. Founded six years ago as a global energy retailer, Octopus Energy entered the U.S. market in 2020, forming Octopus Energy U.S. and fueling the company’s global expansion. Octopus Energy is valued at nearly $5 billion and is one of energy-tech’s fastest-growing private companies. To learn more, visit: www.octopusenergy.com. About Octopus Electric Vehicles Octopus Electric Vehicles, part of the Octopus Energy Group, was launched in 2018 to make it easy for drivers to make that switch to clean, electric transport. With over 65 electric cars now available from 28 different brands, Octopus Electric Vehicles’ team provides everything drivers need to take the road in a new EV. Offering an all-in-one service, Octopus lease the cars, install charge points, provide specialist EV energy tariffs, and offer access to over 250,000 public charge points across Europe via the Electric Juice Network. All with a 5* rating on Trustpilot. Octopus Electric Vehicles also specializes in salary sacrifice schemes - an employee benefit that makes driving a brand new electric car cheaper than the petrol or diesel equivalent through tax savings. Placing customer experience first, Octopus Electric Vehicles has designed the scheme to be simple for an employer to set up and run, and support them at every step. Drivers typically save 30% or more every month on the cost of their EV; and at zero-cost for an employer to set up, it’s great for their team, their hiring and retention, and for their sustainability goals.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

Nelnet Acquires Solar Construction Firm GRNE Solutions

Nelnet | July 06, 2022

Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) announced a controlling investment in affiliates of GRNE Solutions, LLC (GRNE), known as GRNE Solar, a leading Midwest solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm. In addition, Nelnet acquired certain solar assets from an affiliate of GRNE, some already generating power and others currently being constructed. The transaction closed July 1, 2022. GRNE designs and installs residential, commercial and utility-scale solar systems in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and soon in Colorado. Its solar projects typically generate between 1 megawatt (MW) to 5 MWs of power. GRNE also offers battery backup, electric vehicle charging, energy monitoring, and operations and maintenance services. Based in Palatine, Ill., and Lincoln, Neb., GRNE was established in 2012 by Jess Baker and Eric Peterman. The co-founders will continue to lead GRNE and retain a minority ownership interest in the company. Today, GRNE has grown to more than 80 employees in seven office locations in their service area. "We are excited to partner with Jess, Eric and the GRNE team to accelerate their growth plans and our diversification into solar development, The GRNE team has earned a strong reputation in the solar industry for their culture, values and high-quality execution and construction management. Together, we will create a unique solution in the renewable space, including EPC services, financing solutions and subscription management." -Scott Gubbels, Nelnet executive director of tax and renewable energy. Nelnet is a diversified and innovative company, which includes a brand dedicated to renewable energy offerings and solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy. Through tax-equity investing, its tax co-investing platform, community solar subscription and campus solar development solutions, Nelnet Renewable Energy provides significant value to its partners and customers within various industries. Since its initial investment in 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has expanded its solar investment portfolio, including with co-investors, to more than $240 million in more than 200 solar projects. In addition, Nelnet Renewable Energy acquires and manages thousands of subscribers for our community solar development partners. "This acquisition presents an outstanding opportunity for the growth of GRNE and for Nelnet's continued expansion into the renewable energy space. With Nelnet's proven track record for growing and scaling business as well as GRNE's industry expertise, we will continue to accomplish amazing things. Solar energy is a key component to accomplishing the energy goals of the future, and we are proud to be part of the solution," -Jess Baker, co-founder and president of GRNE Solar. This acquisition combines two complementary businesses that understand the critical need for renewable energy in the future. GRNE brings more than a decade of solar engineering and construction experience and will be able to leverage Nelnet's years of customer service expertise, financial strength, and asset management experience to fulfill its increasing demand. "With Nelnet's investment in GRNE, we have planted another seed toward a cleaner future," said Gubbels. About GRNE Since 2012, GRNE has been designing and installing commercial, residential and utility scale solar systems throughout the Midwest. Its full-service team includes consultants, engineers, project managers, electricians and solar installers. Collectively, the GRNE team has over three decades of renewable energy and green construction experience and has proudly generated over 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean renewable energy. Visit GRNESolar.com About Nelnet Nelnet (NYSE: NNI) is a publicly traded diversified financial services and technology company focused on offering educational services, technology solutions, professional services, telecommunications, renewable energy, and asset management. Nelnet has nearly $21 billion in assets, including a $17.6 billion loan portfolio, and services almost $560 billion in loan assets. Since 2018, Nelnet Renewable Energy has funded or committed to the construction of more than $1.5 billion of solar energy projects via tax equity financing. From this foundation, the company has broadened its engagement in the renewable energy sector by adding administrative and management services for tax equity investments, community solar subscriber acquisition and management and solar development. To learn more visit NelnetInc.com.

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