With New Solar Project on Long Island, Verizon's Total Green Energy Investments in New York Exceed $60 Million

By 2015, a Total of 6.7 Megawatts of Green Energy Will Be Generated by Company’s Solar and Fuel-Cell Projects in New York
Installing Solar Panels at Verizon's Garden City Facility

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Work has begun on the installation of a new solar energy system to provide power to Verizon’s Long Island headquarters complex in Garden City. The new solar project will place more than 7,000 SunPower solar panels on the roof of Verizon’s building at 741 Zeckendorf Blvd., which already generates 6 million kilowatt hours of green energy annually from a fuel-cell system built in 2005.

(View images of Verizon's 2014 investment in on-site green energy.)

The Garden City solar project is expected to be completed and operational by the end of this year. It is one of Verizon’s many on-site green energy projects in the New York City area: Fuel cells at five New York City telecommunications-switching locations (one each in Staten Island and Queens, and three in Brooklyn) and at a data center in Elmsford in Westchester County. Altogether, Verizon has invested more than $60 million in green energy in New York.

Verizon’s Green Energy Equivalent to Powering More Than 3,000 Homes

Upon completion of the new Long Island solar project, Verizon will operate more than 6.7 megawatts of green energy systems in the state. The combined fuel cell and solar energy systems will produce more than 40 million kilowatt hours of green energy annually. Verizon’s total green energy efforts in New York are expected to offset more than 4,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or the equivalent of powering more than 3,000 homes annually.

Approximately 7,000 solar panels, each weighing 47 pounds, were delivered to the Garden City location in late September, and hoisted onto the three different roofs that connect the building. SunPower is installing the panels across the more than six acres of rooftop space atop Verizon’s Garden City facility facing the unobstructed southern sky. (View images of the delivery of the solar panels in Garden City.)

“From the investments we make in our networks, to the philanthropic and nonprofits we support, to strategically smart on-site green energy projects such as this one in Garden City and elsewhere, Verizon is improving the quality of life in the communities we serve in New York,” said Leecia Eve, vice president of state government affairs for Verizon New York. “Verizon’s investments in and commitment to New York are helping to position the state to compete and to continue to move forward economically.”  

Top Solar-Power Producer Among U.S. Communication Companies

Verizon is the No. 1 solar power producer among all U.S. communications companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. trade association for companies that research, manufacture, distribute, finance and build solar projects domestically and abroad.

“Verizon has made significant strides in utilizing solar power to supply its own electricity, including its recent solar investments in New York,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Based on its existing solar-power systems, combined with its 2014 solar-energy investment plans, it’s clear that Verizon is on a path to become one of the top 10 companies in the U.S. based on solar generating capacity, and the solar power leader in the U.S. telecom industry.”

Sustainability Legacy

To date, Verizon has invested more than $160 million in on-site green energy. Upon completion of its new solar projects, the company is on track to deploy upward of 25 megawatts of green energy across the United States. Verizon has long been focused on energy efficiency and instituting sustainable real estate practices. Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western United States to help power a portion of the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network.

In New York City, the company uses 25 MAGIC (Mobile Area Garage Installation Center) buses to transport technicians to their daily customer FiOS installation locations, removing roughly 250 company vans and other vehicles from city streets, and saving an estimated 70,000 gallons of gas annually. See video here.

All of Verizon’s energy-efficiency strategies support the company’s ultimate goal of cutting its carbon intensity – carbon emissions produced per terabyte of data flowing through Verizon’s global wired and domestic wireless networks – in half by 2020.