AT&T Installs 17.1 MW in Bloom Energy Servers

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted October 3, 2012

AT&T’s (NYSE: T) energy management strategy is threefold: using alternative energy when costs are comparable, engaging in company-wide efficiency projects, and collaborating to lay out the best energy management strategies.

It was this strategy that pushed the company to install 3.9 megawatts in solar capacity. It’s this strategy that keeps it involved with the Environmental Defense Fund and Rocky Mountain Institute, with which it develops energy efficient solutions.

And it’s this strategy that keeps it building upon its relationship with Bloom Energy.

Bloom Energy is the rapidly-growing fuel cell company that has provided power solutions to companies like eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Walmart (NYSE: WMT), and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO).

It has investors on the edge of their seats awaiting any news of an initial public offering. But Bloom still hasn’t announced an IPO, so there’s still no public stock for the coveted company.

Nevertheless, Bloom has been busy. Founded in 2001, it has since upgraded its 100kW Bloom Energy Servers, or Bloom Boxes, to a 200kW capacity.

It continues to take on new customers, most recently announcing a deal with the University of California Santa Barbara.

And we told you last summer about AT&T’s deal with Bloom Energy for 7.5 megawatts of Bloom Boxes, installed across 11 California locations.

Yesterday, AT&T announced it was adding to that capacity. In a new project with Bloom, the company will add 9.6 megawatts of Bloom Boxes to locations in California and Connecticut, bringing its total fuel cell capacity to 17.1MW.

From the press release:

“AT&T continues to be on the forefront of energy management and understands the need to find innovative ways to power the next generation,” said KR Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy. “The investment they are making now not only means they will have control on their own energy destiny, but will also help ensure a brighter and more energy rich future for all.”

After the new installations, AT&T’s Bloom Boxes will provide 149 million kilowatt hours (kWh) each year, sufficient to power 13,680 homes.

The fuel cells are not renewable, but they work will lower-emitting and cheaper fuels like natural gas, reducing carbon emissions by up to 50%.

A number of the Bloom Boxes will be installed at AT&T’s data centers, and they will also help power company offices.

From the press release:

“A key differentiator for fuel cells compared to other forms of alternative power is that fuel cell electricity production is virtually constant,” explained John Schinter, AT&T’s Senior Energy Director. “They provide steady recurring electricity production at a relatively predictable cost, replacing the traditional electricity bill, which can be volatile.”

This installation will make AT&T Bloom Energy’s biggest non-utility customer.

The company saved $86 million over 2010 and 2011 through its approximately 8,700 energy efficiency projects.

Financial details for the deal were not released, though the 7.5MW deal last summer was projected by analysts to cost between $52 and $60 million.

That’s all for now,

Brianna Panzica

follow basic@brianna_panzica on Twitter

Energy & Capital’s modern energy guru, Brianna digs deep into the industry with accurate and insightful updates into the biggest energy companies and events. She stays up to date with the latest market moves and industry finds, bringing readers a unique view of current energy trends.

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