AT&T will more than double its fuel cell power from clean energy provider Bloom Energy. The new installations will make AT&T Bloom Energy’s largest non-utility customer.
In July 2011, AT&T announced an initial contract with Bloom Energy to deploy 7.5 MW of “Bloom Boxes” at 11 AT&T sites in California, including data centers. The new addition of 9.6 MW of fuel cell power boosts AT&T to a total 17.1 MW from Bloom Energy servers, helping to power 28 AT&T sites in California and Connecticut.
Once fully operational, all of AT&T’s Bloom Box installations are expected to produce more than 149 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power more than 13,680 homes per year.
Bloom Boxes contain stacked fuel cells that convert air and natural gas into electricity through a clean electrochemical process. Use of this power reduces carbon emissions by approximately 50 percent compared to the grid, according to Bloom Energy.
AT&T has deployed nearly 3.9 MW of solar installations and is working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to improve energy efficiency across the company’s 65,00 facilities in more than 60 countries. AT&T plans to share its energy efficiency results with others, as part of the 2012 Portfolio Energy Retrofit Challenge.
Separately, Verizon Wireless announced it has made a number of energy efficiency improvements, such as lighting retrofits and HVAC upgrades, as part of its six-year strategic relationship with EPA’s Energy Star, a voluntary program that promotes reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2006, Verizon introduce Energy Star tools and resources to improve efficiency within company-owned buildings. More than 100 Verizon stores have been awarded the Energy Star certification since 2008.
Verizon replaced more than 30,000 existing 50-watt and 37-watt halogen spotlights with LED lamps at locations across the US; and upgraded 338 store locations with an energy management system in 2010 and added another 174 sites the following year.