T-Mobile says that it has met a goal set in 2018 and by the end of last year was sourcing 100% of its total electricity usage with renewable energy.
The company claims that it is the first U.S. wireless provider to set and meet this target. The goal was achieved with a strategy that includes eight virtual power agreements, 19 retail agreements, one Green Direct Program and an unbundled Renewable Energy Certificate.
This adds up to enough wind and solar power to account for every unit of electricity consumed, T-Mobile said. Nine large wind and solar farm projects – which include the virtual power agreements and Green Direct programs – generate about 3.4 million MWh of clean energy annually. This is enough to power more than 313,000 homes annually.
Beyond the initiatives that directly contribute to the energy matching agreement, T-Mobile also supports 37 community solar projects. These will contribute 2.1 million MWh over the course of 25 years in Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Oregon.
The company also has reduced consumption during this period. Some of the steps were installing smart thermostats and ENERGY STAR-certified lighting in retail stores, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems in data centers, optimizing air management systems and deploying energy-efficient radio equipment on cell towers.
“This was no easy task, but we set a goal and we achieved it,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said in a press release. “Today, thanks to amazing efforts from a team who was unwavering in our commitment to reduce our impact on the planet, the Un-carrier is powering America’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network with 100% clean electricity.”
Telecommunications providers are voracious users of energy. The sector shares the goals of reducing consumption and using greener sources for what is used. On January 20, Verizon said it had entered into seven renewable energy purchase agreements (REPAs) with Leeward Renewable Energy, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions Lightsource bp for a total of 910 megawatts of renewable energy.