One of America’s largest telecommunications companies is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by expanding its operations with a clean energy provider.
AT&T has signed another contract with Bloom Energy to deploy another 17.1 MW of “Bloom Box” energy at AT&T sites in California and Connecticut. In July 2011, the telecomm company had announced an initial agreement with Bloom Energy to deploy 7.5 MW of Bloom Boxes at various sites in California.
Bloom Boxes contain stacked fuel cells that convert air and natural gas into electricity through a clean electrochemical process. The company says this power reduces carbon emissions by approximately 50 percent compared to the grid. And it virtually eliminates all harmful smog forming particulate emissions.
The new installations make AT&T Bloom Energy’s largest non-utility customer.
Once fully operational, all of AT&T‘s Bloom Box installations are expected to produce more than 149 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually. That’s enough to power more than 13,680 homes per year.
“A key differentiator for fuel cells compared to other forms of alternative power is that fuel cell electricity production is virtually constant,” explained John Schinter, AT&T’s Senior Energy Director. “They provide steady recurring electricity production at a relatively predictable cost, replacing the traditional electricity bill, which can be volatile.”