SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah


Corporate demand for clean power emerged with new force and influence in postelection energy policy. As the Trump Administration decisively reemphasized fossil fuels, leading companies countered by pledging to power their operations with renewable energy. This Article assesses recent regulatory reforms at the state level responsive to these corporate pledges and considers the barriers and opportunities the reforms present for companies, for states, and for emissions reduction goals. It traces how corporate energy purchasing has evolved and how new policy innovations are extending that trajectory across a growing number of states. With a focus on reforms expanding access to renewable energy in states with traditional regulatory regimes, the Article situates the role of corporate demand for clean power in the broader context of energy transition policy. What risks or benefits might there be if policy shifts increase the role of corporate consumers in the U.S. electric power sector? Recognizing the trend’s potential for carbon emissions reduction, the Article considers how corporate demand for clean power is changing the role of commercial and industrial consumers on the modern grid and unpacks “100% renewable” claims. Turning to electricity’s legal and physical infrastructure, the Article weighs implications of increased nonutility influence and dispersed decision-making in energy policy.