Fifth Third Bancorp announced that it has become the first Fortune 500 company and first bank to sign a power purchase agreement to achieve 100 percent renewable power through a single project. Furthermore, Fifth Third becomes the first publicly-traded company to commit to purchase 100 percent renewable energy through solar power alone.
This power purchase agreement will lead to the construction of an 80-Megawatt (MW) solar project in North Carolina. The Hertford County Aulander Holloman solar facility is an approximated $200 million project that will be designed, built and owned by Mooresville, North Carolina-based SunEnergy1. It will employ approximately 1,000 people during construction, generate roughly 194,000 MWh/year of electricity and help avoid 144,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 21,600 homes or 30,800 passenger vehicles. Additional environmental benefits are explained in the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Infographic.
“This initiative affirms our bold commitment to advance environmental stewardship on behalf of customers, employees and shareholders,” said Greg Carmichael, chairman, president & CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp. “This innovative project will reduce Fifth Third’s carbon footprint and benefit the communities we serve. In addition, this project is expected to increase earnings, demonstrating that companies can ‘do well by doing good.’”
Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 CEO, said, “SunEnergy1 pioneered the concept of corporate and institutional power purchase agreements for solar power. This is the first time that we have seen a corporation move to 100% clean power by purchasing all of the output from one project. When complete later this year, the Hertford County Aulander Holloman facility will be one of the largest solar projects in the US; it will provide an important economic investment in North Carolina; and it will lead to a meaningful and measurable difference in carbon emissions. The Earth is our vehicle through time so we congratulate Fifth Third for showing that companies can cut their emissions and improve the health of our environment today through solar power. We urge corporate America to stand up and join the 100% club.”
Scott Hassell, Fifth Third’s vice president and director of environmental sustainability, said, “Fifth Third has worked for years to become more sustainable by using energy more efficiently and by lending to the solar energy industry. Today we take great pride in becoming the first Fortune 500 company and first bank to sign a long-term agreement to buy as much solar power as we use in a year. And we are thrilled to be on track to achieve our 100% goal in 2018, four years ahead of schedule.”
To emphasize Fifth Third’s commitment to renewable energy, the Bank joined both RE100, a corporate leadership initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, and the Business Renewables Center.
“We applaud Fifth Third for joining RE100 and for becoming the first member company to contract for 100% solar power,” said Amy Davidsen, North America executive director, The Climate Group, which leads the RE100 initiative. “By achieving its 100% renewable energy goal four years early, Fifth Third is demonstrating that there is a strong business case for solar, that corporate leadership on renewables is accelerating, and that faster greenhouse gas emissions cuts are possible. This will inspire more companies to follow suit.”
“Fifth Third is stepping up to purchase 100 percent of the power from this project, enabling a significant amount of new solar energy to be added to the grid,” said Lily Donge, principal to the Business Renewables Center. “As companies look for ways to accelerate the transition to a cleaner future, Fifth Third has shown the way by signing this power purchase agreement.”
Fifth Third was assisted in the selection and execution of the power purchase agreement by Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services.
Visit http://www.53.com/sustainability to learn more about how Sustainability can be done “a Fifth Third better.”
Fifth Third Bancorp | http://www.53.com
SunEnergy1 | http://www.sunenergy1.com