Telecoms company AT&T has purchased 155 megawatts (MW) of solar power from Vitol, a leader in the energy sector. The two virtual power purchase agreements for approximately 80 MW and 75 MW will support new solar projects in Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively, creating local jobs and bringing additional clean electricity to the U.S. power grid.
AT&T has committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations by 2035. The electricity needed to power the company’s network is AT&T’s largest source of emissions, but, as one of the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy in the U.S., they are working towards reducing the company’s carbon footprint and addressing the global challenge of climate change.
These new deals with Vitol bring the company’s total portfolio to more than 1.7 gigawatts of capacity, equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from more than 590,000 homes’ electricity use for a year.
AT&T is buying clean power from the Bluegrass solar project, located in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, and the Swiftwater solar project, located in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, which are owned by affiliates of Vitol.
Solar photovoltaic installer is one of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S, and the projects’ solar arrays are expected to generate up to 300 construction jobs in Maryland and up to 300 construction jobs in Pennsylvania. The projects are expected to be fully operational in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
AT&T previously purchased 500 megawatts of solar power in Texas in 2019. The transaction was the largest U.S. corporate solar energy deal at the time.
Andrew de Pas, head of renewables at Vitol Inc., said: “Localised renewable generation is enabling corporates to own and address their emissions. Our highly connected way of life consumes huge amounts of energy and we are delighted to be working with AT&T to help develop sustainable energy solutions for their business.”
“AT&T is investing in renewable energy because it is good for the planet and good for our business,” said Joe Taylor, vice president of global infrastructure optimisation and implementation at AT&T. “In addition to reducing our emissions footprint, deals like the ones with Vitol allow us to hedge against changes in energy costs and support economic development in communities we serve. It is a win-win-win.”
“Purchasing renewable energy and other steps to reach carbon neutrality form one part of our three-pronged climate strategy,” said Charlene Lake, chief sustainability officer and SVP-Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T. “Our other focus areas are delivering connectivity solutions to enable our business customers to reduce their emissions and building resilience to extreme weather for our business and our communities. Across all three pillars, collaborators like Vitol help us get closer to our goals.”