Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bancorp reached 100% renewable power today with the opening of the Aulander Holloman Solar Facility in North Carolina. This is the first time a Fortune 500 Company has achieved the renewable energy milestone through a single solar project, according to the financial services company.
In March 2018 Fifth Third Bancorp signed a power purchase agreement assisted by Schneider Electric’s Energy and Sustainability Services that supported the new solar facility. Originally Fifth Third’s goal was to get to 100% renewable power by 2022.
Located in Hertford County, North Carolina, the Aulander Holloman Solar Facility was built by solar developer SunEnergy1. It has more than 350,000 solar panels on single-axis tracking systems, and over 2,000 inverters and related subsystems, according to SunEnergy1.
“The facility consists of roughly 120 MW DC of solar panels enabling the project to generate approximately 202,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year,” the companies say. “The panels were installed over 1,400 acres in Hertford County, North Carolina, one of Fifth Third’s key market states.”
Scott Hassell, Fifth Third’s vice president and director of environmental sustainability, spoke with Energy Manager Today last year about the PPA. The Aulander Holloman solar project was selected due to its location, the expected economics, timing, and risk profile, he said.
“Fifth Third is making history,” said Amy Davidsen, executive director, North America, for the Climate Group, which leads the RE100 initiative. “They were the first member company to contract for 100% solar power and are demonstrating that renewables make business sense. By adding clean power to America’s electricity grid, they’re accelerating a cleaner future for us all — and leading the way for other companies to follow suit.”