Sprint and Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy has announced a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 173.3 megawatts (MW) of new wind energy. Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the 182-MW Maryneal Windpower project located in Nolan County, Texas, that will come online in 2020.
The agreement will enable Sprint to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and achieve approximately 30 percent renewable energy for its total electricity portfolio. The project will provide enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of more than 54,000 U.S. homes and will reduce carbon emissions equivalent to removing more than 96,000 cars from the road annually.
“Sprint is serious about minimizing its carbon impact, and operating as a more sustainable company,” said Sprint Foundation Chairman Doug Michelman. “This wind project will help us make substantial progress towards offsetting the energy we use across our operations, including our headquarters, retail stores, call centers and cell towers.”
The Maryneal project increases Duke Energy Renewables’ U.S. wind capacity to more than 3,000 MW. Full notice to proceed with construction will begin in early 2020 and the wind project will be fully operational by December 2020. During peak construction, the project will create approximately 200 jobs.
“Wind power is contributing to a cleaner, stronger U.S. economy and the Maryneal Windpower project further expands our renewable energy presence in Texas,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “We’re excited to work with Sprint to create jobs, strengthen the local economy and generate clean energy.”
The long-term VPPA complements Sprint’s longstanding sustainability strategy, originally launched in 2008, which includes reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, conserving natural resources such as water and paper, eliminating waste from all corners of the business and responsibly recycling waste when possible. Schneider Electric Energy and Sustainability Services advised Sprint on the Maryneal VPPA, supporting project selection and negotiations.
Nordex Acciona will supply 38 4.8-MW wind turbines for the site. Wanzek Construction is the contractor for the project.
“We are pleased to be working together with Duke Energy Renewables, one of the most experienced developers in North America and part of one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. In addition, both companies have the same goals: to build renewable energy sources for the future with solid technology. The highly efficient N149/4.0-4.5 turbine is the ideal choice for this and for many potential project sites in the USA,” says Patxi Landa, CSO of the Nordex Group.
Duke Energy is one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers – on track to own or purchase 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020.