AT&T, one of America’s leading telecoms, announced this past weekend one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the United States, which will see it purchase 520 megawatts of wind energy from wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas through NextEra Energy Resources.
AT&T has been teasing the Power Purchase Announcement (PPA) for a few days now, ever since T-Mobile announced its commitment to transition to 100% renewable electricity, joined RE100, and challenged its main rivals — AT&T and Verizon — to join its commitment. Power Purchase Agreements of any magnitude, let alone 520 megawatt PPAs, do not happen overnight, so it is unlikely that AT&T has suddenly decided to jump on board T-Mobile’s #CleanUpWireless Challenge-bandwagon, but it certainly heralds the company’s own commitment to transitioning to renewable electricity.
Announced over the weekend, AT&T revealed it will purchase 520 megawatts (MW) worth of wind power through two separate agreements signed with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources. The telecom will secure 220 MW worth of wind power from the Minco V Wind Farm located in Caddo County and another 300 MW from a wind farm in Webb and Duval Counties in Texas. The agreements are believed to constitute one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the United States and is a key part of AT&T’s goal to develop and leverage technologies that enable carbon savings 10 times the footprint of its operations by 2025.
Specifically, the two PPAs are expected to generate savings equivalent to taking 350,395 passenger vehicles off the road, or provoding electricity for a quarter of a million homes each year.
“As one of the world’s largest companies, we know how we source our energy is important,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Operations. “Many companies are focused on their own carbon footprint but we believe our industry can do more. We’ve been working for a long time to ensure our wind projects deliver for both our business and the environment. We will continue to explore renewable energy solutions to help create a better, more sustainable world.”
AT&T has already implemented more than 65,000 energy efficiency projects resulting in annual savings of $427 million and reduced its fleet emissions by 99,000 metric tonnes of CO2-equivalent as well as reducing the domestic fleet itself by 1,800 vehicles. Whether AT&T will sign up to match T-Mobile’s commitments is uncertain.
“We’re proud to work with AT&T to achieve one of the largest U.S. corporate renewable energy purchases,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development, NextEra Energy Resources. “It’s clear that renewable energy presents a tremendous opportunity to power America’s companies with clean, affordable electricity and AT&T is helping to lead the way forward. Renewable projects like these also drive growth in rural communities, creating good jobs, providing additional revenue and generating positive economic impact.”
To add to its commitment, AT&T also announced that it was signing on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, a group of large energy buyers led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) seeking to spur progress on renewable energy.
“AT&T’s decision to scale up its use of renewable energy is a signal of the growing power of corporate demand to drive energy markets,” said Marty Spitzer, World Wildlife Fund’s Senior Director of Renewable Energy and Climate. “Big companies setting big commitments is key to driving our nation’s transition toward a clean energy future. AT&T is joining the ranks of companies for whom renewable energy is the new normal.”