Verizon plans to expand the amount of solar panel projects that power its network by almost double. Following a $100 million investment in solar panels and fuel cells last year, the telco announced on Monday that it is spending another $40 million to build out 10.2 MW of new solar panel systems at eight Verizon network sites across five states. Verizon is looking to cut its carbon emissions footprint substantially by 2020 and with this new investment the company says it will have the largest commitment to solar and clean energy out of its peers in the communications industry. With the new solar panel projects, which will be built by SunPower, Verizon says it will have 25 MW of clean energy under management, which is enough power for about 8,500 average American homes per year.
Verizon Communications Inc.), the largest U.S. wireless carrier, is investing almost $40 million to triple its use of solar energy this year. SunPower Corp. will install 10.2 megawatts of solar power at eight Verizon sites in New York, California, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, the New York-based telecommunications company said today in a statement. The New York-based company invested $100 million last year for about five megawatts of solar capacity and 10 megawatts of fuel cells that were installed at six sites. The new capacity will give Verizon the most solar-generating capacity of any U.S. telecommunications company, according to the Washington-based trade group Solar Energy Industries Association. “Solar is a proven technology,” James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer, said in an interview. “It didn’t hurt that the technology is getting better and prices are coming down.” The investment in new rooftop, parking-structure and ground-mounted systems comes as prices for solar panels have plummeted, boosting demand. Verizon is among the companies seeking to reduce their carbon emissions, an effort that’s driving the decision to add solar power, Howard Wenger, SunPower’s president of regions, said in an interview. It’s also helping them cut their energy costs.