During a groundbreaking ceremony in Webb County, Texas for the first AT&T-backed wind farm project, AT&T announced a new agreement to purchase 300 megawatts (MW) of wind energy. It also announced a scholarship program for students interested in pursuing careers as wind turbine technicians, one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S.1
Delivering renewable energy
AT&T's new power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will deliver 300 additional megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from two new wind farm projects in Wilbarger and Hardeman Counties, Texas. The new agreement builds on AT&T's previous investments backing two wind energy centers in Webb and DuvalCounties in Texas and Caddo County, Oklahoma.
Together, these agreements will deliver 820 MW of wind power, and constitute one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchases in the U.S.2 The projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 530,000 cars off the road or providing electricity for more than 372,000 homes per year.3
"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. "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."
Creating jobs and community benefits
AT&T's investments in renewable energy will help to create jobs and economic benefits. NextEra Energy Resources estimates the AT&T-backed wind farm projects will create as many as 1,000 construction jobs in Texas and Oklahoma. The projects are also estimated to generate nearly $190 million in property tax revenues for local communities and more than $167 million in lease payments to landowners.4
"We are pleased to work with AT&T to expand the reach of renewable energy and provide a significant economic boost to local communities, both in Texas and Oklahoma," said Kevin Gildea, NextEra Energy Resources' vice president of development. "Wind energy is helping drive the clean energy economy, providing new and exciting job opportunities in rural communities as well as millions of dollars in additional revenue with which to help enhance schools, roads and other essential services."
AT&T-backed wind energy centers will also benefit students and local communities. During the groundbreaking event, AT&T announced a $50,000 contribution to Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to create the AT&T Wind Energy Scholarship fund. The fund provides financial assistance for students earning a TSTC wind energy degree or certificate and is open exclusively to students from counties with AT&T-backed wind farms (Webb, Duval, Wilbarger and HardemanCounties). NextEra Energy Resources has committed to interview graduates of the TSTC program for future wind technician positions, as they become available, as well as internship opportunities.
The scholarship complements a new wind energy program being established at Webb County Consolidated Independent Schools (WCISD) and supported by NextEra Energy Resources. Webb CISD is one of the few high schools in the nation to host its own wind technician program.5 NextEra Energy Resources also contributed a wind turbine gear box to the school 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," said 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."
AT&T's renewable energy program is a key component of its 10x Carbon Reduction Goal and is part of the company's larger commitment to the environment. Since 2010, AT&T has put into place more than 65,000 energy efficiency projects resulting in annualized savings of $427 million.6 Learn more about AT&T's commitment to environmental and social responsibility at att.com/csr