With a $100 million investment in fuel cells and solar panels, Verizon has taken a major step in reducing its dependency on traditional energy sources in favor of clean and renewable resources. Installed at 19 sites across seven states, the alternate energy sources will provide approximately 70 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.
Fuel cells and solar energy have been hallmarks of the most high tech datacenter deployments in recent years, starting with Google adding Bloom Energy equipment as a power source in their California headquarters. Verizon has previously installed fuel-cell power at an office building and switching center located in New York. The solar panels will be installed as rooftop and ground-level sites, and deliver slightly more than 10 percent of the total additional power. Their primary function will be as an add-on power source. Verizon already has significant experience with this process; in various sites in western US states, they have already installed 26 solar power assist systems.
The bulk of the renewable energy will be delivered by ClearEdge Power's PureCell Model 400 systems. These fuel cells will be installed at network and datacenter sites in New York, New Jersey, and California. With over 60 million kilowatt-hours of power delivery, this will be one of — if not the largest — single deployment of fuel cell power systems in the datacenter and networking industry. It's also ClearEdge's largest project delivered to a single-user.
Fuel cells power has gone far beyond simple "proof of concept" projects. As part of Verizon's long-term goal to reduce their corporate carbon footprint, fuel cells are rising to the top of the list in the choices for green, renewable energy.