The race is on: Yesterday Verizon Communications announced that it was committing another $40 million to its green energy program, paving the way for the company to expand its solar power market in five key states.
The investment will provide funding for an additional 10.2 megawatts at eight sites in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, effectively raising the amount of green energy it will deploy to more than 25 MW once the new installations are completed.
Verizon announced its entry into the solar market last year with the investment of $100 million to install solar panels at 19 locations across the country. The initial investment was expected to generate more than 70 million killowatt hours at sites in seven states, providing power to offices, as well as data and call centers. The company says it has since enhanced its green energy investment at some of those locations by introducing cooling measures designed to reduce its carbon bill even further. Its total investment will also eventually allow Verizon to offset its carbon footprint by 22,000 metric tons of CO2 (the equivalent of removing 5,000 vehicles from the road per year).
This latest expansion ups Verizon’s capabilities and puts it in the running to become the nation’s No. 1 solar-producing communications company. James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer, said the company’s move dovetails with its goal of cutting its carbon bill in half by 2020.
“Our investment in on-site 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,” Gowen said.
The expansion also means that Verizon will soon join the ranks of the top 20 companies with the largest number of solar installations in the country.
Verizon contracted with SunPower to install the solar arrays, which include a rooftop installation on a parking structure and several ground-level photovoltaic systems.
Image credit: pgegreenenergy