On Monday, representatives from AT&T and SunEdison were joined by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to flip the switch on a new 296-kilowatt (kWh) solar array. The system will generate about 420,000 kWh of energy in its first year and is expected to generate in excess of 7.7 million kWh of energy over the next 20 years. The renewable energy generated from this solar array will eliminate more than 8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, AT&T also announced its aggressive solar plans, which includes five other installations by Q2 2011.

AT&T will continue its partnership with SunEdison on these new solar installations, which will be installed at AT&T facilities in Dunnigan, Commerce, Mojave, Santa Ana and West Sacramento in California. When added to the San Diego installation, the six systems will total 2 megawatts in solar capacity and generate about 3.2 million kWh of energy annually. If the systems remain in use for 20 years, they will prevent an estimated 62 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the environment.

The deal between AT&T and SunEdison is being made possible through a power purchase agreement (PPA). SunEdison is responsible for the construction, monitoring, and maintenance of the installations and AT&T will purchase the energy produced from these solar systems. The systems will reduce AT&T’s reliance on the California electrical grid.

"We are continually seeking opportunities to add renewable energy resources to power our business operations, and this agreement provides more sustainable solutions for our energy needs in California," said John Schinter, director of energy, AT&T.

"SunEdison makes solar a reality for commercial clients throughout the world," said Brian Jacolick, general manager, Americas for SunEdison. "Through smart design, proven technologies and our strong financing capabilities, SunEdison helps clients like AT&T realize the benefits solar energy offers.” Source: AT&T
These solar installations will help AT&T meet its overall energy reduction goals. In 2008, AT&T aimed to reduce its energy intensity by 15 percent. When the company’s 2009 Citizenship and Sustainability Report was released, a 23.8 percent reduction was revealed. The company is now focused on a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2019 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now LEADER program. This new series of solar arrays is just one of the steps that AT&T is taking to meet this goal.
AT&T announces aggressive solar plans
As AT&T powered on a 296 kW solar array in San Diego, the company also announced their plans for five additional solar deployments.