TAMPA, Fla. - Evidence of Verizon's commitment to alternative methods of energy production will soon become obvious to residents in northwest Hillsborough County as Verizon nears completion of the installation of 140 solar panels at its Carrollwood central office building on Zambito Road.
The solar project is another example of Verizon's national commitment to green energy practices that include pursuing network equipment and building energy-reduction initiatives; utilizing alternative energy sources in the network, buildings and vehicle fleet; developing a fleet of hybrid vans and service vehicles; and promoting the company's technology as an alternative to travel, among other efforts.
In Florida, the solar panel project also helps meet Gov. Charlie Crist's objective of reducing greenhouse gases in the state and encouraging alternative forms of renewable energy. The project is expected to generate an average of 19 kilowatts to 21 kilowatts of daily energy production, reducing the building's normal power consumption by 5.5 hours per day.
"Verizon occupies more than 32,000 buildings worldwide and operates more than 59,000 vehicles," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "Additionally, our network connects us with more than 62 million customers worldwide. We have a tremendous opportunity to address green energy practices in both the way we work and in what we offer as telecommunications services to consumers. That's what we are doing, and we pledge to continue and expand these efforts."
Verizon also intends to take advantage of rules being considered by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) that would allow independent producers of solar and other alternative energy sources to offset energy consumption with annual electric bill credits and deliver excess customer-owned renewable energy to the electric utility. Called "net metering" rules, they provide incentives to promote clean, alternative energy sources throughout Florida.
In addition to the solar panel project in Tampa, Verizon has also initiated other efforts with positive results:
- Powered down or removed obsolete equipment from 411 buildings nationally. This produced an annual emission reduction equal to 46,400 metric tons, or the equivalent of 10,000 passenger cars not driven in one year.
- Used micro turbines -- natural gas-fired engines -- instead of diesel engines at two sites in California. This is producing an annual emission reduction equal to 3,700 metric tons, or the equivalent of 800 passenger cars not driven in one year.
- Installed seven fuel cells as primary power at a switching and training facility in Garden City, N. Y. This is the largest installation of fuel cell technology in the country, providing the equivalent of the energy needs of 1,000 single-family households and producing an annual emission reduction of 8,000 metric tons, or the equivalent of 1,700 passenger cars not driven in one year.
- During the past year, Verizon worked with a vehicle retrofitter to develop a hybrid van for the company's FiOS technicians. Thirteen of these gasoline- and electricity-powered vans are currently deployed in Maryland and Texas. The company is now seeking a manufacturing partner to make more of these vehicles and is anticipating a 40 percent to 50 percent fuel economy improvement and a 70 percent to 90 percent emission reduction from the vans' use.
Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises project, initiated in 2004, offers consumers another way to reduce greenhouse emissions without ever leaving their homes. Verizon is installing more than 70,000 miles of fiber directly to people's homes and businesses, delivering very high-speed broadband services that make e-commerce convenient, effective and efficient.
"Verizon processed over 70 million online payments in 2006 - just one example of how our broadband networks make commerce easier and more energy efficient for consumers," said Ciamporcero. "The fiber network will enable more efficiencies like this as we move even further into the broadband commerce world by making enhanced distance learning, telemedicine and personal data sharing, among others, more effective. On every level, Verizon is working to reduce energy both now and for the future."
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 63.7 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.