How does Rivian power its charging networks with 100% renewable energy?
Every kilowatt-hour our chargers deliver is matched with renewable resources like solar and wind, on an annual basis. That means the amount of renewable energy we develop or purchase, matches or exceeds the amount of energy flowing through our Rivian Waypoints and Rivian Adventure Network chargers and into EVs.*
We use a variety of mechanisms to develop or purchase renewable energy, including power purchase agreements (contracts to buy a certain amount of renewable energy at a fixed price for a period of time), onsite and community-based solar and wind projects, and partnerships with utilities. Regardless of the mechanism, our aim is to add renewables to the nation’s grid, and in places where they can drive the greatest benefits. In this early stage in our business, we also purchase a limited amount of renewable energy from existing projects.
In determining which mechanism to use for a given location, we first consider the area’s current energy sources – how much of its grid mix is already renewable and how much comes from fossil fuels. Then, to fill in the gap and reach 100%, we work to add renewable resources either in the communities where our chargers operate or in places where the grid relies more heavily on fossil fuels. Clean energy isn’t distributed evenly across the US today, and balancing clean energy access is a critical step on the path to a more sustainable system.
To get into the nitty-gritty, consider the different roles renewables play in three states: In California, they generate nearly 40% of the state’s energy. In Tennessee, it’s 15%, and in Mississippi just over 2%. Not only do these disparities have local environmental, health and economic drawbacks, but they have system-wide carbon consequences. A kilowatt-hour of electricity in Tennessee emitted 32% more CO2 than a kilowatt-hour in Northern California in 2020, according to WattTime, a tech non-profit who tracks avoided emissions impact of new renewable energy projects. By targeting projects that add renewables to grids with greater emissions, we can boost the carbon-cutting benefits of new wind and solar energy. Our first new megawatt of solar energy demonstrates this approach. It takes time to build meaningful projects, and we aim to continue to build on our first deployment in Tennessee.
Ultimately, our vision is to promote renewable technologies at the time and place where they can have the greatest impact for all, not just our own operations.
*Rivian will provide verification of the volume of renewable energy purchased but cannot at this time provide third party assurance of the matching claims made here.