Voluntary purchases are often referred to as "Green Power." Voluntary purchases are made by individuals, businesses, governments, and groups of each (known as aggregations) to express personal preferences or meet personal or institutional commitments.
- One recent example of a government purchase is a request for proposals, issued in February 2005, to supply the Rhode Island State House with renewable energy for a five-year period.
Hedging is a growing motivation to reduce exposure to volatile and rising energy costs. New England's publicly-owned utilities, as well as Vermont's utilities, can stabilize their fuel cost-driven supply portfolios with wind generation. In competitive markets that dominate the New England landscape, larger electricity customers are beginning to look to longer-term purchases of wind power as a means to protect their energy budgets against the volatile fossil-fuel-driven costs. Examples include:
- The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Customer Aggregation (RECA). The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (RIREF) brought together large commercial, industrial, and institutional electricity users to explore renewable energy options. Five of these customers have banded together and solicited supply offers. With RIREF's support, they are negotiating a long-term financial transaction with a new wind generator to be located in New England designed to serve as a hedge.
- PowerOptions, working with the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, issued a solicitation in early March 2005 seeking electricity supply under a 10-year contract to take advantage of the non-fuel dependent nature of renewable generation resources and help their members hedge against the volatility of traditional fossil-fuel-fired generation. Under this solicitation, PowerOption members would purchase services shaped around the output of a wind farm or other renewable generator, with energy delivered through the members' electricity supplier. PowerOptions, created by the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority in 1996 to enable Massachusetts' nonprofit organizations to benefit from the deregulated electricity and natural gas industries, serves more than 400 members that include the state's hospitals, universities, and cultural institutions.
A final motivation is compliance with a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) or similar mandate.