Verizon Communications has announced plans to invest $100 million in clean energy projects that will provide power to 19 of its facilities across the USA.

The New York-based telecoms and media firm says that the use of natural gas-powered fuel cells and solar energy will reduce its carbon footprint and also make its operations less prone to storms and other events.

Verizon says that the installation of the energy projects will be completed in 2014 and will enable the company to generate 70 GWh/year. It has partnered with ClearEdge Power for the installation of fuel cells and SunPower Corp for solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment.

"This is a natural evolution of our sustainability efforts and of our use of alternative energy to power a variety of our facilities," said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer. "These projects will reduce our carbon footprint, relieve demand on the electrical grid and enhance the resiliency of our proven service continuity – even during outages."

The fuel cells and solar products will be installed at a variety of Verizon buildings – including corporate offices, call centres and data centres – in seven US states.

ClearEdge will install its PureCell Model 400 fuel cell systems in California, New Jersey and New York, while SunPower Corp will install rooftop-mounted, ground-mounted and parking canopy-mounted PV systems in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and North Carolina.

Verizon already operates one of the largest fuel cell sites of its kind that powers a car-switching centre in New York, as well as 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas of western USA.