AT&T announced it will purchase 520 megawatts (MW) of wind power from two different energy farms as part of an effort to massively reduce its carbon footprint.
Under two separate agreements, AT&T said it will buy 220MW of power from a wind farm in Oklahoma and an additional 300MW from another location in Texas. The company expects the projects to generate energy savings equivalent to the cost of providing electricity to 250,000 homes each year or removing 350,595 passenger vehicles from the road.
AT&T also joined the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles group, which aims to connect corporate energy buyers with practical clean energy options. Fellow members include Sprint, Amazon, Cisco, Google, Facebook and Intel, among others.
The push is part of an AT&T strategy to achieve carbon savings amounting to ten-times the size of its own footprint by 2025. Scott Mair, president of AT&T operations, noted it plans to “continue to explore” wind and other renewable energy solutions to meet the goal.
AT&T said it had implemented more than 65,000 energy efficiency projects across its businesses since 2010, saving it a total of $427 million. By the close of 2016, the operator said it had slashed fleet carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 99,000 tonnes (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development explains CO2e is a measure used to compare greenhouse gas emissions).
The operator’s announcement follows a similar move by T-Mobile US in late January, when it inked a deal to double the amount of electricity sourced from wind farms. All told, T-Mobile said it planned to meet 60 per cent (or 320MW) of its nationwide energy needs using wind energy.
At the time, T-Mobile CEO John Legere challenged AT&T and Verizon to commit to achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2021, offering to pay $500,000 to a clean energy non-profit on behalf of each operator which agreed.
It is unclear whether AT&T’s renewable energy goals meet Legere’s challenge requirements.