T-Mobile to Reach 100% Renewable Energy by 2021

This article originally appeared in Boss Magazine, on February 11, 2018

T-Mobile announced its second wind farm project as it continues efforts to sustainably sourcing its energy.

In late January, T-Mobile announced its decision to shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2021. In addition, they became the first U.S. carrier to join forces with over 100 influential businesses committed to the same goal via RE100: the collaborative global initiative.

“We’re doing our part to #CleanUpWireless by committing to 100 [percent]  renewable energy usage by 2021,” the company wrote on its  Twitter account.

T-Mobile has made it clear that one of their priorities is to do the right thing for their customers, and this move only helps to prove it.

“And it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s smart business,” said John Legere, President and CEO at T-Mobile. “We expect to cut T-Mobile’s energy costs by around $100 million in the next 15 years thanks to this movie.”

Road to 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Along with its goal, T-Mobile also unveiled their second wind farm project. The finalized contract grants the company 160 megawatts from Infinity Renewables’ Solomon Forks Wind Project in Kansas and is slated to begin operating in 2019.

Combined with T-Mobile’s first wind farm project—the Red Dirt Wind Project, which went online this past December—T-Mobile will have 320 megawatts of electricity. This means T-mobile will have enough megawatts to meet roughly 60 percent of their total energy needs. T-Mobile plans on buying enough wind power annually to match every unit of electricity they consume until they reach their goal.

As for their partnership with RE100, Sam Kimmins, head of RE100 at The Climate Group, believes T-Mobile has the potential to greatly benefit the global trend toward renewable energy. “As a large electricity consumer in the U.S., they can truly transform energy systems by bringing significant renewable capacity online,” he said.

T-Mobile has already started working to impact the global renewable energy trend by supporting Green America’s petition urging AT&T and Verizon Wireless to join T-Mobile in fighting for the preservation of fossil fuels.

Companies Fighting For Renewable Energy

Similarly, Nike has also just signed its second major wind energy contract. Avangrid Renewables has agreed to grant the company 86 megawatts of Texas wind power and brings them one stop closer to its goal of sourcing 100 percent renewable energy across the company’s  facilities in North America.

In 2015, Facebook surpassed its goal of sourcing 25 percent renewable energy in its data center electricity supply mix, according to the Facebook Sustainability website. Since that achievement, the company’s goal has been to reach 50 percent by this year in hopes of matching its ability to power data centers with 100 percent renewable energy.

Furthermore, Facebook’s  efforts have gone beyond ensuring its impact on the planet by also helping local communities. In Altoona, Iowa, the company partnered with local utility and a developer to add 140 megawatts of renewable energy to the grid. That move generated enough energy to power over 40,000 average Iowa homes.

“Our goal is simple: power our data centers with clean and renewable energy and, where possible, help green the grid by adding new renewable sources,” said Peter Freed, Data Center Renewable Energy Manager at Facebook.

As we reported late last year, Google reached its goal to source 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. Avangrid Renewables also collaborated with Google and is currently building two 98 megawatt wind farms in South Dakota as the company will contribute over 40 million in land leases and tax payments, shared John Fitzgerald Weaver of Electrek.

“Renewables from projects like Coyote Ridge and Tatanka Ridge bring value to our business as we scale and accelerate investment in the communities where we operate,” said Gary Demasi, Global Director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy at Google, regarding the South Dakota wind farms.

As T-Mobile has joined the ranks of such influential companies, it seems clear that the trend towards renewable energy is picking up speed and hoping to take every company possible along for the journey to a more sustainable planet.