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Starbucks signs major clean energy agreement

Starbucks will substantially boost the amount of clean power it uses by 2021.

The coffee giant has purchased a three-project renewable energy portfolio, comprising wind and solar farms in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas, from developers Allete Clean Energy, Apex Clean Energy, BayWa r.e., and Cypress Creek Renewables. The PPA portfolio will provide clean power to the electricity grids that serve more than 3,000 U.S. Starbucks stores and communities by 2021, when all three projects are online.

The portfolio incorporates 146 total megawatts from three new renewable energy projects: 50 megawatts of wind power from an Allete Clean Energy project, acquired from Apex Clean Energy; 50 megawatts of solar power from a Cypress Creek Renewables project, and 46 megawatts of solar power from a BayWa r.e. project.

“As we continue to strive towards building and operating the world’s largest green retail business, we know we need to find innovative business models to achieve our renewable energy goals,” said Patrick Leonard, energy manager for Starbucks company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada. “Not only does this portfolio model allow us to support new solar and wind farms that will deliver the clean energy equivalent to the electricity powering over 3,000 stores, it also opens the door for many new buyers to cost-effectively source smaller amounts of renewable energy.”

According to LevelTen, this portfolio transaction, in which a corporate buyer simultaneously procures a fraction of the power generated by multiple new projects, is unprecedented. Collaboration between the developers and LevelTen through data sharing will enable Starbucks to monitor its renewable energy generation, track portfolio performance, and streamline contract management.
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