Verizon announced it will invest $100 million in a solar and fuel-cell energy project that will help power 19 of its facilities in seven states across the country. When completed next year, the project will enable Verizon to annually generate more than 70 million kilowatt hours of its own green energy -- enough to power more than 6,000 single-family homes a year -- while eliminating more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide -- enough to offset the annual CO2 emissions from more than one million gallons of gas. (See video below)
The fuel cell and solar products will be installed at a variety of Verizon buildings, including corporate offices, call centers, data centers and central offices. This is the company's latest move toward reaching its goal of cutting its carbon intensity -- carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through its networks -- in half by 2020.
"This is a natural evolution of our sustainability efforts and of our use of alternative energy to power a variety of our facilities," said James Gowen, Verizon's chief sustainability officer. "These projects will reduce our carbon footprint, relieve demand on the electrical grid and enhance the resiliency of our proven service continuity -- even during outages."
Verizon will work with ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of scalable, distributed power systems, to install PureCell® Model 400 fuel cell systems at Verizon sites in California, New Jersey and New York. The systems will generate more than 60 million kilowatt hours of electricity and result in a carbon reduction of approximately 6,000 metric tons per year. The installation work, ClearEdge's largest single-user project to date, will begin soon and continue throughout the year.
"We are delighted that Verizon has recognized the value our products and experience can bring to their business operations," said David B. Wright , ClearEdge Power president and CEO. "This is a very exciting partnership for ClearEdge Power, and we are thrilled to be working with Verizon to help them reach their ambitious sustainability goals."
Verizon has also signed a multiyear agreement with SunPower Corp. and is negotiating the deployment of high-efficiency rooftop- and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems as well as solar parking canopies at Verizon facilities in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and North Carolina. The systems, which will generate approximately 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, are expected to be completed this year and to reduce Verizon's annual carbon footprint by more than 5,000 metric tons of CO2.
"Verizon and SunPower share a commitment to quality and reliability, and SunPower looks forward to working together to meet Verizon's long-term renewable energy goals," said Howard Wenger , SunPower president, regions. "With SunPower's energy services and high-efficiency systems, Verizon will benefit from clean, solar power generation and cost savings at their facilities."
A History of Sustainability
An early adopter of fuel cell technologies, Verizon currently operates one of the largest fuel cell sites of its kind that helps power an environmentally friendly call-switching center and office building in Garden City, N.Y. Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power the portion of the nation's largest and most reliable wireless network serving those areas.