Financial services firm Fifth Third Bancorp has become the first banking institution to achieve a net-zero status by deploying a single project.
Fifth Third Bancorp partnered with SunEnergy1 to build the Aulander Holloman solar facility in North Carolina.
The solar facility will generate energy that is more than the amount needed by Fifth Third Bancorp in a year. The solar plant will generate energy enough to power 25,000 homes and reduce the emissions of more than 143,000 metric tons of carbon.
The clean energy system has been built following a virtual power purchase agreement signed by Fifth Third in March 2018.
The agreement had been initially designed to help the bank to achieve its sustainability goals by 2022. However, the launch of the solar facility means Fifth Third Bancorp has achieved its goal three years ahead of schedule.
The 202,000MWh solar facility is one of the largest in the US, comprises 350,000 solar panels and more than 2,000 inverters and subsystems.
Some 1,000 people were employed during the construction of the solar system.
Greg D. Carmichael, CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp, said: “This is another example of our commitment to improving lives and doing what’s best for our communities and planet—today and into the future. This project enables us to contribute positively to the economy of one of our key market states in a way that strengthens Fifth Third Bank’s performance and reaffirms for our stakeholders that we ‘do well by doing good.’”
Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, added: “ REBA is thrilled that Fifth Third Bank—which has also achieved its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2022—is a part of its membership and is driving towards our vision of a prosperous, zero-carbon energy future.
Fifth Third was assisted in the selection and execution of the power purchase agreement by Schneider Electric’s Energy & Sustainability Services.