Verizon Goes Big With Solar

Verizon is set to become the number one solar producer among U.S. communication companies. They have announced an investment of nearly $40 million to expand their onsite green energy program. This year, the company will install 10.2 MW of new solar power systems at eight Verizon network facilities in five states: California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. This new investment nearly doubles the amount of renewable power generated by six Verizon solar facilities last year. To date, Verizon has invested nearly $140 million in onsite green energy. With the 2014 solar investment announced, Verizon is on target to deploy upward of 25 MW of renewable energy.

“Our investment in onsite green energy is improving the quality of life in the communities we serve by reducing CO2 levels and reducing strain on commercial power grids, while increasing our energy efficiency,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer. “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.”

Verizon solar farm Basking Ridge NJWith this announcement, Verizon is on track to become the #1 solar-power producer among all U.S. communications companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Based on its existing solar power capacity and onsite generating systems, combined with its new solar energy expansion plans for 2014, it’s clear that Verizon is on a path to become the solar-power leader in the U.S. telecom industry,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch. “In fact, we project that Verizon will be among the top 20 of all companies nationwide in terms of the number of solar installations it operates, and one of the top 10 companies in the U.S. based on solar generating capacity.”

Verizon contracted with SunPower Corp. to design and install all of the solar systems. The new equipment, consisting of high-efficiency rooftop, parking-structure and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, will vary from site to site.

“With this milestone investment, Verizon is advancing its position among the handful of corporate leaders demonstrating how American businesses can serve their communities and control energy costs with on-site solar power generation,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Verizon, helping the company lower the long-term cost of energy at more facilities with SunPower’s high performance technology and services.”

Resch added, “This is a significant investment by Verizon, which will provide a boost to the economy, as well as the environment. Long a world leader in telecommunications services, Verizon is quickly becoming a leader in the deployment of green energy, too. When these projects are completed, Verizon will have nearly 16 MW of installed solar capacity, ranking it among the Top 10 companies in the United States. We commend Verizon on its commitment to the environment, and doing what’s best for current and future customers.”

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