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article imageJP Morgan Chase goes all in on renewable energy investments

By Karen Graham     Jul 28, 2017 in Business
Those who control the money always seem to have a disproportionate amount of both social and political power, so JP Morgan Chase's announcement that they have committed to 100 percent renewables by 2020 is the biggest news yet for the energy sector.
The 100 percent renewable energy revolution already has some big-name companies on board, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Anheuser Busch, and WalMart. JP Morgan Chase is the world's third largest bank and the largest U.S. bank by assets.
The announcement came across the business wire at 7:00 am this morning, With the bank saying that not only is it committing to being fully reliant on renewable energy globally by 2020, but it will also make $200 billion in clean-energy financing commitments by 2025. In their clean financing commitment, JP Morgan Chase states: "JP Morgan Chase is making the largest commitment by a global financial institution to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing by 2025. JPMorgan Chase has facilitated and advised on some of the largest clean financings and strategic transactions in the renewable energy sector."
The headquarters of JP Morgan Chase on Park Avenue December 12  2013 in New York
The headquarters of JP Morgan Chase on Park Avenue December 12, 2013 in New York
Stan Honda, AFP/File
JP Morgan Chase plans on both on-site installations of solar as well as procuring renewable power from utility-scale projects. This will include installing solar power panels on up to 1,400 retail buildings that it owns, as well as its 40 commercial buildings that cover 5,500 properties in more than 60 countries.
JP Morgan Chase points out that its Polaris Corporate Center in Columbus, Ohio alone could host up to 20 MW of capacity, and that another building in Texas could host 7 MW. The company will start their project with installations of solar panels on Chase branches in California and New Jersey. After this initial start, "thousands" of other locations will get solar panels.
Fox Business Network reports that in November 2016, Chase signed a 20-year business deal with a Texas wind farm, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. that will eventually provide 75 percent of the bank's total electricity consumption in the state. That project is expected to come online this year.
A photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged  connect assembly of typically 6×10 solar cells. Solar Pho...
A photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged, connect assembly of typically 6×10 solar cells. Solar Photovoltaic panels constitute the solar array of a photovoltaic system that generates and supplies solar electricity in commercial and residential applications.
AleSpa (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Additionally, the bank, in a partnership with General Electric, is installing LED lighting in some of its branches and corporate headquarter buildings, as well as separately adding solar panels at some locations. THe company already plans to sign power contracts in select U.S. markets to offset its electricity consumption by up to 40 percent.
PV Magazine notes that while the news is overall, a huge deal, the biggest part of the announcement is JP Morgan Chase's plans to facilitate $200 billion in clean energy financing by 2025. This part of the plan centers around the bank's 22,000 corporate and investment clients.
More importantly, this part of the commitment includes advising their clients on "strategic transactions and capital raises, financing and providing risk management solutions for renewable energy project and clean energy companies and underwriting debt." The company has a history of advancing environmentally sustainable solutions and integrating sustainability into the firm’s culture.
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