Sprint signed a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Duke Energy Renewables this week for 173.3 megawatts from a new 182-MW wind power project planned for Nolan County, Texas.
The deal should enable Sprint to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve approximately 30% renewable energy for its total electricity portfolio, according to the telecom.
“This wind project will help us make substantial progress towards offsetting the energy we use across our operations, including our headquarters, retail stores, call centers and cell towers,” said Sprint Foundation chairman Doug Michelman.
The new wind farm, called the Maryneal Windpower project, is being planned for Nolan County. Both companies say they expect the facility to come online by December 2020. Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, says that Nordex Acciona will supply 38 4.8-MW wind turbines for the site and Wanzek Construction is the project contractor.
Schneider Electric Energy and Sustainability Services advised Sprint on the deal, which included supporting project selection and negotiations. Signing the long-term VPPA complements the telecom’s sustainability strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, eliminate waste, and recycle waste responsibly, according to Sprint.
Earlier in the year, Sprint was called out by the nonprofit Green America for lagging behind on renewable energy commitments and usage. After evaluating the commitments of four major US telecoms, Green America gave Sprint a D. That score put Sprint in last place behind leader T-Mobile, runner-up AT&T, and third-place-ranked Verizon.
“Consumers have made clear to the telecom sector that they expect their cell phone carriers to make 100% commitments to clean energy,” Todd Larsen, the organization’s executive co-director said at the time. “We can see that companies are starting to listen.”
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