CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 www.53.com/sustainability to learn more about how Sustainability can be done “a Fifth Third better.”
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the Company had $142 billion in assets and operated 1,154 full-service Banking Centers and 2,469 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to more than 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Dec. 31, 2017, had $362 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $37 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.
SunEnergy1 is a top five U.S. solar developer with more than 800 MW installed. The company has pioneered large-scale solar power on the East Coast for nearly a decade, developing numerous record-breaking solar projects in the region. SunEnergy1 is vertically integrated and controls all stages of a solar project in-house, creating affordable, low risk solar power for corporate, institutional and utility partners. The company has the financial strength to own and maintain long-term investments like a 5GW pipeline of solar-ready development sites, over 300 pieces of construction equipment, and 200+MW of owned solar farms. For more information about SunEnergy1, please visit www.sunenergy1.com.
Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100 is a collaborative initiative bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Renewables are a smart business decision, providing greater control over energy costs and a competitive edge, while helping companies to deliver on emission reduction goals. RE100 members, including Global Fortune 500 companies, have a total revenue of over US$2.75 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors – from Information Technology and financial services to pharmaceuticals and automobile manufacturing. Together, they represent more than 160TWh of renewable electricity demand and send a powerful signal to policymakers and investors to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions economy. Visit RE100.org and follow us on Twitter @theRE100 #RE100.
About Business Renewables Center
The Rocky Mountain Institute's Business Renewables Center (BRC) is a member-based platform that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of off-site, large-scale wind and solar energy. With over 200 members, including major corporations, leading renewable energy project developers, and transaction intermediaries, the BRC embodies the know-how of the industry. Today, BRC members account for over 7 gigawatts of renewable energy, and more than 95% of corporate renewables deals to date have included a BRC member. With a goal to help corporations procure 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, the BRC is at the leading edge of the fastest-growing sector of renewable energy procurement. More information on BRC can be found at www.businessrenewables.org.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. www.schneider-electric.com/ess.