Sustainable Business News (SBIZ)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Brookfield to power full U.S. office portfolio with clean electricity by 2026

Over 65 per cent of the 70-million-sq.-ft. portfolio will transition by 2024

Brookfield's Manhattan West towers. (Courtesy Brookfield Properties)

Brookfield Properties plans to power its entire 70-million-square-foot U.S. office portfolio utilizing only zero-emissions electricity by 2026.

More than 65 per cent of that space, including the entirety of its New York and Washington, D.C. office portfolios, will transition to zero-emissions electricity by 2024.

Brookfield plans to accomplish this by entering into contracts for approximately 600,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. The firm states it will achieve the equivalent of avoiding over 260,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. According to the announcement, it will reduce the emissions of Brookfield's U.S. portfolio by up to 80 per cent.

"Instead of taking incremental steps or waiting for others to act, we are completely transforming how we power office buildings throughout the United States," Ben Brown, Brookfield Real Estate’s managing partner, said in a statement.

"Not only will it significantly advance our goal of transitioning our entire portfolio to net-zero carbon, but also we are confident that both the increased demand for zero-emissions electricity it will create and the industry precedence it will set will be a game-changer for how state-of-the-art office buildings are powered throughout the country."

Brookfield Properties operates more than 800 properties and over 390 million square feet of real estate in markets on behalf of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, one of the largest asset managers in the world.

It is not immediately known if Brookfield has similar ambitions for its Canadian properties. SustainableBiz has reached out to the company for further comment, but has yet to receive a reply.

Brookfield’s U.S. portfolio plans

The electricity for the U.S. initiative will primarily come from three sources: 49 per cent hydro power, 33 per cent solar and wind, and 18 per cent nuclear. 

More than 85 per cent of power will come from new plants enabled by Brookfield Properties' commitment or power purchase agreements (PPAs), where Brookfield directly buys local zero-emissions electricity and receives the associated energy attribute certificates.

In Denver and Virginia, where there is not a direct PPA option available, Brookfield will purchase renewable power from within the same grid through virtual PPAs.

As direct-purchase options become available, Brookfield plans to switch to direct sources. In Denver, this will be from wind sources while in Virginia it will be from nuclear.

In New York, Washington D.C. and Maryland, Brookfield will enter into contracts with 24/7, zero-emissions electricity providers, buying electricity that will be delivered to local power grids at the same time that Brookfield's office buildings draw electricity from those same grids.

For New York state, this means PPAs from hydro power facilities, as is already being done for Brookfield’s One Manhattan West tower. In Washington and Maryland, the PPAs will come from nuclear power facilities within the PJM grid, equipped by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a Brookfield portfolio company.

In Houston, Brookfield will facilitate construction of a solar power plant to supply electricity for its properties in the city. The same will apply for Los Angeles.

In San Francisco, the office properties will purchase electricity through CleanPowerSF's SuperGreen program, a local community choice aggregation program of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. It provides renewable electricity from solar and wind power generated within California.

Throughout the portfolio, all of the electricity will be purchased from local sources in the same power grid.

Brookfield's net-zero goals

"We know our membership is full of change-makers accelerating the clean energy transition. Brookfield Properties' recent announcement to transition its entire U.S. office portfolio to carbon-free electricity is an excellent demonstration of that commitment," Kevin Hagen, interim CEO of the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA), said in a statement.

"This announcement sends a strong market signal and encourages wider adoption of this strategy to scale decarbonization efforts and exemplifies the leadership of Brookfield Properties within CEBA as we continue to cultivate an impact-oriented community."

In March 2021, Brookfield became a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative to support the ambition of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.

In 2022, Brookfield created its 2030 net-zero interim target, committing to reduce emissions by two-thirds by 2030 across $147 billion – or about one-third – of its real estate assets under management from a 2019 baseline.

Industry Events