Verizon to invest $100M in solar and fuel-energy project

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Greentech Lead America: Wireless major Verizon announced that 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.

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.

The project is part of the company’s strategy to reduce carbon emission. The company has set a target to reduce carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through its networks in half by 2020.

Through this project Verizon will generate more than 70 million kilowatt hours of its own green energy annually 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.

“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.

Verizon has also signed a multiyear agreement with SunPower 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 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.

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