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CohnReznick Think Energy Powers RFP Behind Necker Island Renewable Energy Deal

Innovative Diesel Reduction Agreement Provides Model for Successful Microgrid Deals
Across “10 Island Challenge”

Bethesda, MD (February 5, 2014) – CohnReznick Think Energy (CRTE) created the successful request for proposal (RFP) process and the first draft of the innovative Diesel Reduction Agreement (DRA) that made possible yesterday’s announcement that Virgin Limited Edition (Virgin) and NRG Energy (NRG) had agreed to develop a renewable energy driven microgrid that will dramatically reduce diesel fuel usage on Necker Island, home of Sir Richard Branson.

“The potential for more renewable energy across the world is huge especially in places like the Caribbean, where islands offer an excellent test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative, clean energy solutions. Necker is an ideal ‘guinea pig’ for the Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge and will be able to show the potential of ‘state-of-the-art’ technologies in renewable energy,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Carbon War Room (CWR).

CRTE is committed to providing the management necessary to execute the complex RFPs and design the innovative deal structures needed to produce groundbreaking accords that eliminate the use of fossil fuels, provide sources of clean power, and reduce the cost of that power for the people of the Caribbean. “Traditional Power Purchase Agreements don’t work in the island environment and for the ‘10 Island Challenge’,” stated Mark Crowdis, President of CRTE. “They don’t support energy efficiency, load sharing, or investment in smarter renewables, and the complex flow of power makes billing by kilowatt-hour (KWH) impossible.”

The new and unique DRA idea was initiated by Homer Energy (HOMER) and CRTE, and further developed by CRTE with valuable input from Virgin, NRG, and HOMER. The final agreement provides an incentive for NRG to undertake energy efficiency upgrades on the island, thereby reducing the size of the renewable energy system, while still attaining a 75% initial elimination of diesel consumption with incentives to reach a goal of 100% over a 20-year period. The DRA provides a payment to NRG for each gallon of diesel eliminated from baseline consumption through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

“We are immensely proud to be a partner in CWR’s ‘10 Island Renewable Challenge’,” commented Crowdis. “With escalating fuel costs, enhanced microgrid technologies, and increased investment, we are at a tipping point in the execution of renewable energy projects that provide significant economic and quality-of-life benefits to the region. With agreements such as the DRA now serving as a model, Necker Island is just the start.”

To support Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island Renewable project that culminated in the innovative DRA, CRTE designed and executed a fair, consistent, and transparent RFP process to solicit bids for the project. Drawing on the firm’s successful track record in executing energy procurement services in diverse geographies, CRTE collaborated with HOMER Energy, Virgin Limited Edition, and CWR to analyze the bids of more than 28 companies that responded to the RFP. The winning bid was selected based on a combination of factors, including: technical feasibility, practical experience, financial strength, local job creation, quality programs, cost, contract terms and provided warrantees and guarantees. The final decision was made by Virgin’s Necker Island team.

Crowdis explained, “The RFP process was designed to be an open competition for bidders to demonstrate their ability to deliver the greatest carbon reductions at the lowest total cost, while providing a stable source of power to the region. Equally as significant, CRTE constructed the process as a replicable model that can be used as the basis for deals across CWR’s ‘10 Island Challenge’.” 

For more information, please contact:

Mark Crowdis
Tel: 301-280-7922


CohnReznick Think Energy

CohnReznick Think Energy was founded in 2000 as a full-service renewable energy consulting firm operating in the United States and internationally, specializing in request for proposal (RFP) management, project development support, due diligence advisory, and energy purchasing services. The firm has extensive experience in all aspects of energy and renewable energy markets, working with commercial and industrial consumers, government agencies, investors, project developers, educational institutions, and non-profits. Visit for more information.

Carbon War Room

The Carbon War Room is a global entrepreneur initiative set up by Sir Richard Branson that accelerates entrepreneurial solutions to deploy profitable, scalable clean technologies across industries, and is a registered U.S. non-profit.  For more details please visit or contact Maya Doolub on For press enquiries please contact

Homer Energy

HOMER Energy LLC provides software, services, and community tools to professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts in the energy industry who desire to analyze and optimize distributed power systems and systems that incorporate high penetrations of renewable energy sources. Based in Boulder, Colorado, HOMER Energy was incorporated in 2009 to commercialize the Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER), which was developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition to the software, HOMER Energy provides a range of consulting services related to the policies, economics, and technologies of renewable and distributed power.

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