AT&T signs PPA with DSD for anchor subscription in New York Community Solar portfolio

May 10, 2023
The community solar sites are located in Cortland (5 MW), East Syracuse (2.7 MW), Medina (2.5 MW), Utica (902 kW), and Swan Lake (4.4 MW). Four of the five sites are under construction, with the last project expected to start construction later this year

Telecommunications giant A&T has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with DSD Renewables to serve as anchor tenant subscriber for a five-project community solar portfolio in upstate New York.

AT&T’s commitment will account investment in 15.5 MW of the overall 24.1-MW community solar portfolio.

The community solar sites are located in Cortland (5 MW), East Syracuse (2.7 MW), Medina (2.5 MW), Utica (902 kW), and Swan Lake (4.4 MW). Four of the five sites are under construction, with the last project expected to start construction later this year.

“We strongly believe that corporations can play a key role in helping power the communities they serve, and this agreement is one way for AT&T to do just that,” said Shannon Thomas Carroll, AVP of Global Environmental Sustainability at AT&T. “By working together with developers like DSD, we’re able to explore solutions outside of on-site renewables that can help us reduce environmental impacts while also supporting local communities by making solar programs more accessible. It’s a win-win for AT&T and the people we serve.”

AT&T has been a sizable contributor to utility-scale renewable energy PPAs through the past few years. In 2018, the company acquired 520 MW of renewable energy projects with NextEra Energy tied to developing wind power projects in Oklahoma and Texas.

The deal with DSD Renewables extends AT&T’s move into community solar, smaller projects which avoid the rate case challenges or transmission system uncertainty of utility-scale and the large upfront costs of on-site solar and energy storage.

Community solar investment is recouped through voluntary subscriptions by customers in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.

NRG is AT&T’s community solar advisor and assisted in the selection of DSD. AT&T’s subscription is expected to offset approximately 61 percent of annual energy use, according to the release. With community solar, as in utility-scale PPAs, the customer may or may not receive the renewable energy directly, but its investment helps fund projects and creates lower carbon output on the grid.