Verizon signs new renewable energy purchase agreements

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Verizon Communications has entered into four more long-term renewable energy purchase agreements (REPAs) totalling more than 450 MW of renewable energy capacity as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral in its operations (scope 1 and 2) by 2035. These agreements, which are virtual power purchase agreements, will help finance the re-powering of wind energy facilities and the construction of new solar facilities.

Verizon entered into two REPAs with Brookfield Renewable for an aggregate of up to 160 MW of capacity at two wind energy facilities that are being repowered. The wind energy facilities are located in New York where Verizon has significant energy usage, and the repowered facilities are expected to be fully operational in 2021. The agreements have 12-year terms and generally are expected to be financially settled.

Verizon also entered into two REPAs with First Solar for an aggregate of up to 296 MW of capacity from two solar facilities that are under development in the PJM Interconnection regional market and that First Solar intends to power using its lowest carbon footprint solar modules. The agreements with First Solar have 15-year terms from the commencement of each facility’s entry into commercial operations, which is expected to occur in late 2022. The agreements are generally expected to be financially settled.

“In 2019 Verizon issued a $1 billion green bond to help fund the company’s sustainability efforts, including our initiative to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to at least 50% of our total annual electricity consumption by 2025,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer and vice president, supply chain operations. “Bringing this additional renewable energy to the grids where Verizon consumes energy is an important step towards meeting this commitment.”

Earlier this year, Verizon announced it had entered into REPAs for an aggregate of more than 380 MW of renewable energy under development in Texas and Illinois. Verizon anticipates that the renewable energy capacity supported by the REPAs the company has executed to date will enable 981,444 million metric tons of CO2e to be avoided annually.

The Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator uses the AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) U.S. national weighted average CO2 marginal emission rate to convert reductions of kilowatt-hours into avoided units of carbon dioxide emissions.

Most users of the Equivalencies Calculator who seek equivalencies for electricity-related emissions want to know equivalencies for emissions reductions from energy efficiency (EE) or renewable energy (RE) programs. Calculating the emission impacts of EE and RE on the electricity grid requires estimating the amount of fossil-fired generation and emissions being displaced by EE and RE. A marginal emission factor is the best representation to estimate which fossil-fired units EE/RE are displacing across the fossil fleet. EE and RE programs are not generally assumed to affect baseload power plants that run all the time, but rather marginal power plants that are brought online as necessary to meet demand. Therefore, AVERT provides a national marginal emission factor for the Equivalencies Calculator.

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