The Empire State Building and its affiliated properties buildings are now totally running on clean and green energy sourced from wind power.
The Empire State Realty Trust, Inc — the trust group that owns the namesake skyscraper along with other high-rise properties in New York City and Connecticut — announced this week that it’s signed a three-year contract with Green Mountain Energy that will see the real estate giants purchase more than 300 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy, enough to cover their total energy use.
The world’s most famous skyscraper has been powered by renewable energy for over a decade, but this latest deal will see the trust’s whole property portfolio “go green.” It will also see the Empire State Realty Trust become the single biggest commercial real estate user of renewable power in the US.
"We have purchased renewable power from Green Mountain Energy for the World's Most Famous Building, the Empire State Building, for a decade. We now expand that to all properties in New York State with an additional Direct Energy contract for our Connecticut properties,” Dana Robbins Schneider, SVP, director of energy, sustainability & ESG at Empire State Realty Trust, said in a statement.
In practical terms, this doesn't mean the Empire State Building and its affiliated properties will be hooked up to a load of wind turbines that will directly feed the buildings with electricity. Instead, the trust will effectively be paying for energy to be sourced from renewable sources in order to cover the electricity their properties use. The new deal will ensure that a kilowatt-hour of green energy will be added to the grid for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used in the properties of Empire State Realty Trust.
There are some business incentives to this plan, but it’s far from just a savvy PR move. The deal will effectively prevent the production of 450 million pounds of carbon dioxide. According to the company, that’s the equivalent of removing all of NYC’s taxis for a year or turning off every household light in the city for a month.
While the Empire State Realty Trust is the biggest real estate company to take this action, a number of other big companies have also made similar actions in recent years. Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Equinix, Bank of America, Well Fargo, Starbucks, and many other well-known corporations procure all of their energy from renewable sources, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This includes solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydropower. Some of these corporations even buy enough renewable energy to cover over 100 percent of their energy use, meaning they're putting more green energy into the system than they're taking out.
[H/T The Washington Post]