AT&T, NextEra Energy Expand Wind PPA to 820MW

With this expansion, AT&T marks one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the U.S., anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 530,000 cars off the road.

AT&T has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Resources through which it will receive an additional 300 megawatts of renewable energy from two new wind farm projects in Wilbarger and Hardeman counties, Texas. This new PPA builds on AT&T’s previous investments backing two wind energy centers in Webb and Duval counties in Texas and Caddo County, Okla.

Combined, these agreements will deliver 820 megawatts of wind power, one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the U.S., according to data from Business Renewables Center. The systems are anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as taking 530,000-plus cars off the road and provide electricity for more than 372,000 homes per year.

Extra benefits

“We’re going big on renewable energy. It’s a clean, abundant, renewable source of home-grown power,”  said Joe Taylor, vice president of global tech optimization and implementation, AT&T, in a prepared statement. “As one of the world’s largest companies, our investments can help scale this critical energy source for America’s transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The PPA between AT&T and NextEra Energy Resources is set to create some 1,000 construction jobs in Texas and Oklahoma. Furthermore, the projects are estimated to generate nearly $190 million in property tax revenues for local communities and more than $167 million in lease payments to landowners.

The AT&T-backed wind energy centers will also impact the students and local communities: a $50,000 contribution to Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to create the AT&T Wind Energy Scholarship fund. NextEra Energy Resources has committed to interview graduates of the TSTC program for future wind technician positions, as well as internship opportunities. The scholarship complements a new wind energy program at Webb County Consolidated Independent Schools (WCISD) and supported by NextEra Energy Resources, making WCISD one of the few high schools in the country to host its own wind technician program. NextEra Energy Energy Resources has provided a wind turbine gear box to help students with hands-on training.

“We welcome the opportunity to educate, expose and equip our students with dynamic skill sets stemming from the benefits of a career in renewable energy,” added Beto Gonzalez, superintendent of Webb Consolidated Independent School District. “We are grateful to both NextEra Energy Resources and AT&T for their generous contributions to establish one of the nation’s first high school wind energy programs and for creating a new and exciting career path for our students.”

Image courtesy of AT&T