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Corporate Pressure Forces Energy Industry To Shift Real Estate Toward Sustainability


The energy industry is shifting its real estate away from coal plants and toward facilities that process natural gas and renewable energy sources.

The change comes as pressure grows from some of the industry’s largest customers, companies like Microsoft and General Motors, which have made commitments to sustainable energy, the New York Times reports.

Appalachian Power is one utility that is working to quickly shift toward wind and solar power while starting the process of backing away from coal. In the past few years the company has shut down three coal-fired plants and has revamped two facilities for gas, cutting back its dependence on coal by more than 60% in 2016. Another utility, Dominion, created a special rate for customers that want to buy renewable energy — like Amazon.

Utilities across the U.S. are feeling pressure to do the same as corporate clients demand more sustainable energy, the WSJ reports. While corporate renewable-energy partnerships were rare just five years ago, a recent World Resources Institute report said they are rapidly increasing. To better attract those partnerships, Appalachian Power is currently looking to buy, lease or build a set of wind and solar farms in Virginia and West Virginia.