Renewable Energy at the National Aquarium

by: Jeremiah Johnson

Publication Date: March 23, 2016
Length: 28 pages
Product ID#: 1-430-451

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Christina Gomez, energy and sustainability manager for the National Aquarium in Maryland, is looking back at the success the organization has had over the past two years in shrinking its environmental footprint. It is impressive. But bigger challenges lie ahead. The organization has a huge electricity bill, totaling $1.5 million in 2013 alone. She has three options she is considering to lower the bill and green the aquarium’s operations further. Students are asked to weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the best solution.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Practice sizing solar installations and determining their generation potential.
  • Develop financial models to compare across various renewable energy options.
  • Observe the difference between owning a photovoltaic installation and purchasing solar electricity through a power purchase agreement.
  • Evaluate the tradeoff between quantitative financial analysis and qualitative risk factors, particularly when it comes to renewable energy credits and additionality.
  • Translate analysis into a meaningful recommendation.