Renewable energy company, Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE), announced today that it will commence construction on the Oak Trail Solar facility, a new solar project in North Carolina. The facility’s 100MW of renewable energy will be sold to telecom giant Verizon under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPE).

The announcement follows Verizon’s issuance earlier this year of its fourth $1 billion green bond.  Verizon has allocated billions from green bond offerings over the past few years to scale up its use of renewable energy. In January, the company revealed that it had secured approximately 2.6 GW of projected renewable energy capacity in 20 deals since 2019, making it one of the leading corporate buyers of renewable energy in the U.S., and positioning Verizon to achieve its sustainability goals to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50 percent of its total annual electrical consumption by 2025, and reach net zero operational emissions by 2035.

James Gowen, Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain, said:

“Verizon is committed to protecting our planet by supporting the production of renewable energy and the transition to a greener U.S. energy grid. The renewable energy produced by the Oak Trail Solar project will help us achieve net zero emissions in our operations by 2035.”

The Oak Trail Solar facility is expected to reach commercial operation by mid-2023. LRE stated that it plans to utilize 30% of the project acreage to establish a pollinator habitat, planting native vegetation and wildflowers for screening to provide ecological benefits to the area. With today’s announcement, LRE’s total projects under construction has reached 880MW.

Sam Mangrum, SVP of Project Execution at LRE, said:

“Oak Trail Solar marks another milestone in the growth of LRE’s renewable energy portfolio and is an example of how we manage our projects in alignment with our core values of protecting and respecting the environment and communities in which we operate. LRE is focused on creating enduring value with local communities by building and maintaining strong, long-term relationships. We look forward to bringing the project online next year and supporting Verizon’s efforts to meet its net zero operational goal.”

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