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May 02, 2013

Verizon Harnesses the Power of the Sun, Goes Greener



Somewhere along the way, around the time Al Gore showed the world a sad video of a polar bear, green stopped being a color and started to be a buzzword. It became cool to buy green products, to recycle and compost, to turn off the lights when you didn’t need them. 


In an effort to save the world one small action at a time people supported industries that labelled themselves as green, and it was supposed to mean that they were dedicated to reducing harmful carbon emissions. It wasn’t regulated and sometimes was not transparent, and after Greenpeace called out Apple for being all talk last year, things became clear: green is just a word until you can back it up with evidence.

To this effect, Verizon (News - Alert), a company that prides itself in its sustainability efforts has teamed up with SunPower to launch its Green Energy Project. The initiative, based on Verizon’s $100 million investment, is expected to power 19 of the company’s facilities once it is completed next year. It’s just another step in Verizon’s long term goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2020, which is no small step considering the amount of data the communications provider trafficks.

The aforementioned evidence can be broken down into relatable units in Tuesday’s press release. Upon completion, the Green Energy Project will allow Verizon to self-generate upwards of 70 million kilowatt hours per year using solar fuel cells, which broke down to the layman’s unit of homes that kind of energy can provide for, stands at the equivalent of 60,000 houses powered annually.

That is a lot of self-generated energy. Also, working with scalable power systems manufacturer ClearEdge Power, Verizon will be outfitting offices and facilities in Arizona, New Jersey, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina with PureCell Model 400 fuel cell systems. ClearEdge, who last year expanded to the European Market with its refrigerator sized fuel cell to the tune of $85 million is “thrilled to be working with Verizon to help them reach their ambitious sustainability goals,” says president and CEO David B. Wright.

By the looks of the energy breakdown, ClearEdge technology will be providing the brunt of the kilowatt hours: 60 million, to SunPower’s eight million provided by rooftop and ground based solar cell systems, but everyone involved is very upfront about this being and exciting project in regards to kicking carbon emissions.




Edited by Ashley Caputo

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