Building upon the successful launch of its on-site green energy program in 2013, Verizon this year is investing more than $13 million to expand the program at three company locations across New Jersey. This year, Verizon will install 3.5 megawatts of new solar power systems at facilities in Carteret, Freehold and Piscataway. Installation of the systems is taking place over the next two months, with completion scheduled by year-end.
Over the last two years, Verizon has invested more than $34 million in its on-site green energy program in New Jersey. Upon completion of the new solar projects, Verizon will operate roughly 7 megawatts of green energy systems in the state. The systems will produce more than 23 million kilowatt hours of green energy — enough to power more than 2,000 homes annually. Verizon’s total green energy efforts in New Jersey are also expected to offset more than 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
“From network investments to philanthropic investments to investments in on-site green energy, Verizon is improving the quality of life in the communities we serve in New Jersey,” said Leecia Eve, vice president of state government affairs for Verizon New Jersey. “Verizon’s investments in, and commitment to, New Jersey are helping to position to state to compete and move forward economically.”
Top Solar-Power Producer Among U.S. Communication Companies
Verizon is on track to become the No. 1 solar power producer among all U.S. communications companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. trade association for companies that research, manufacture, distribute, finance and build solar projects domestically and abroad.
“Based on its existing solar power capacity and on-site 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.”
To date, Verizon has invested nearly $140 million in on-site green energy. Upon completion of its new solar projects, the company is on track to deploy upward of 25 megawatts of green energy across the United States. Verizon has long been focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. As an early adopter of fuel cell technologies, Verizon invested in one of the largest fuel cell sites of its kind in 2005 – helping to power a call-switching center and office building in Garden City, New York.
Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network.
In addition to various solar and fuel cell installations, Verizon has also implemented better cooling efficiency and energy-consumption reduction measures in its data centers. In 2009, Verizon developed new standards for energy consumption on select telecom equipment, with a target of 20 percent greater efficiency.
All of Verizon’s energy-efficiency strategies support the company’s ultimate goal of cutting its carbon intensity – carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through Verizon’s global wired and domestic wireless networks – in half by 2020.
The company also is a key sponsor of the upcoming New Jersey Sustainability Summit Sept. 18 at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, which will focus on how small businesses can reduce their environmental impact and increase profits.