Engie North America
At a Glance
Energy or Utility
Clean and Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Nathalie Simoes developed a tool that estimates wind and solar project emissions and the timeframe for a site to become carbon neutral through carbon-free energy generation.
ENGIE sustainability and renewable energy project development teams are striving to enhance internal and external stakeholders’ understanding of life-cycle emissions associated with wind and solar projects. In an effort to estimate an emissions “payback period” – when a site could be considered carbon neutral – Nathalie created a user-friendly Excel tool that calculates the total emissions from procurement through construction and operation, and connected generation projections to EPA eGRID emissions data.
Nathalie approached the tool using a three-part process:
Identifying available and accessible data for renewable projects. After meeting with several ENGIE subject matter experts, Nathalie identified key data and “rules of thumbs” to be incorporated into the tool. Next, using data from existing suppliers, national laboratories, and peer reviewed articles, she connected information to project development and costing.
Embedding balancing authority and state-level eGRID data into the tool to assess the project emissions against the local grid mix and estimate the carbon neutral point.
Writing a guidance document and testing the tool with internal ENGIE renewables and project development teams to accurately assess if ENGIE’s needs are met or any gaps exist.
Proper implementation of the tool can enhance ENGIE’s transparency, validate ENGIE’s purpose “to accelerate the transition toward a carbon neutral economy,” and support stakeholder dialogue surrounding emissions – an indicator for improvement in the Group 2030 objectives.
A result of connecting emissions to project size and cost, ENGIE managers can use the tool to better understand the environmental impact of decisions surrounding development emissions and product end-of-life, bringing sustainability to the forefront of projects and across the organization.