Verizon invests $40M to install solar power systems at eight facilities

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is doubling its investment in renewable solar power with plans to invest about $40 million in the on-site green energy program it debuted last year.

The service provider plans to install 10.2 megawatts of new solar power systems at eight network facilities in five states: California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

Over the past year, the service provider has invested nearly $140 million in on-site green energy. By committing this additional $40 million investment, Verizon said it will nearly double the amount of renewable power generated by solar energy systems installed at six Verizon facilities in 2013.

Upon completion of these new solar projects, the service provider is on track to deploy over 25 megawatts of green energy. These green-energy efforts are expected to offset 22,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.  

For this latest project, Verizon employed SunPower Corp. to design and install all of the solar systems. Consisting of high-efficiency rooftop, parking-structure and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, the new equipment will vary from site to site.

"By almost doubling the amount of renewable, solar energy we're using, we are making further progress toward Verizon's goal of cutting our carbon intensity in half by 2020, in part, by leveraging the proven business case for clean-energy alternatives to the commercial power grid," said James Gowen, Verizon's chief sustainability officer, in a release.

During the first part of the program it launched in 2013, Verizon invested $100 million on solar and fuel-cell energy projects to power 19 of its network facilities located in seven states, while reducing their carbon footprint. Set to be completed this year, the on-site green energy program will be implemented at a mix of corporate offices, data centers and central offices located in seven states: Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

In 2013, Verizon said it exceeded its 10 megawatt green-energy target, and it has currently deployed 14.2 megawatts of on-site green energy using a combination of fuel cells and solar power systems.

While these investments are new, Verizon has been driving environmental efficiencies for nearly a decade. The service provider installed fuel cells to power a call-switching center and office building in Garden City, N.Y., in 2005. It also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of its wireless network.

Verizon is driving what has become an industry-wide trend amongst the largest telcos.

Similar energy efficiency plans are being driven at other telcos, including AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL). AT&T deployed 7,000 alternative-fuel vehicles, while CenturyLink has deployed 464 flex fuel vehicles and 66 propane vehicles.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Verizon invests $100 million in alternative energy plan for 19 facilities
Green telcos: What carriers are doing to manage energy-hungry networks

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