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Verizon, NREL Sign Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid MOU

Verizon and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop ways to reduce energy use in the information and communications technology industry.

Under the agreement, the laboratory (pictured) and Verizon will work together and share technical expertise in several areas including energy efficiency and energy management at Verizon’s buildings and facilities, such as its data centers; and advancement of smart grid technologies and best practices, NREL says.

And the company hope that any efficiencies found within its business will have positive knock-on effects in other industries.

The ICT industry consumes three percent of U.S. electricity, half of which is from telecommunications. The application of digital intelligence in the operation of offices and data centers offers a significant opportunity to save money, energy and reduce environmental impact, NREL says.

However, in the past 20 years, every extra kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed by information and communications technology equipment has saved the U.S. economy 10 kilowatts of energy on average, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

“Innovation and application of energy-saving technologies in a way that makes sense in the marketplace are vital to improving the nation’s economy and environment,” said Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  “NREL’s collaboration with Verizon offers a variety of possibilities for using clean energy and improving energy efficiency in a large and meaningful way.”

“Verizon has taken significant steps to become a greener, more energy-efficient company,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer. “By partnering with one of the top science and technology labs in the world, we’ll be able to achieve even greater efficiencies in a cost-effective fashion. We’re very excited about this opportunity.”

In June, Verizon announced that it had significantly reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions at 24 of its U.S. data centers through its installation of an energy management system from Vigilent.

At the time, Verizon said it anticipated saving more than 55 million kWh a year and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 66 million pounds because of the installation.

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