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Starbucks collaborates with Cypress Creek on solar farms

From the April 2019 issue.

Starbucks and solar company Cypress Creek Renewables have announced they’re collaborating on building solar farms across Texas, United States.

The collaboration will also see two existing Cypress Creek operated farms provide Starbucks with enough energy for the equivalent of 360 stores in the Lone Star State.

“At Starbucks, we are proud of our 30-year legacy in environmental leadership as we know the planet is our most important partner,” says Rebecca Zimmer, Starbucks Director of Global Environmental Impact.

“Our long-standing commitment to renewable energy supports our greener retail initiative and demonstrates our aspiration to sustainable coffee, served sustainably. Now, we are investing in new, renewable energy projects in our store communities, which we know is something our partners and customers can appreciate for their local economy and for the environment.”

More than one hundred Starbucks stores across Texas are now powered two, 10-megawatt Cypress Creek-owned solar farms, reducing its environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Engie Resources are providing full retail energy requirements, including budget certainty and a retail energy supply contract.

The United States Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), a subdivision of the US Bank, facilitated the transaction between Cypress Creek and Starbucks and provided a portion of the tax equity investment.

“Cypress Creek is thrilled to join forces with Starbucks, US Bank and Engie to provide a locally-sourced solar product to energise Starbucks Texas stores,” says Matthew McGovern, CEO of Cypress Creek Renewables.

“Starbucks and other forward-looking companies are carrying out their bold renewable energy targets and Cypress Creek is proud to provide the innovative and tailored energy solutions needed to bring their vision to life.”

This is the second time Starbucks and the US Bank have worked together, having previously developed a 47-megwatt solar farm in Maxton, North Carolina that powers more than 600 Starbucks stores.

“Starbucks is taking a unique approach – investing in solar farms regionally to support a specific group of its stores. This is a new concept and one that I think other companies are watching and may follow. It’s an interesting model that allows them to talk specifically about the impact of their investments,” says Chris Roetheli, Business Development Officer of USBCDC.

Starbucks is separately investing in six Cypress Creek-owned solar farms in Texas, representing 50 megawatts of solar energy. The solar panel farms are reducing carbon emissions by more than 101,000 tons annually, the equivalent of planting more than 2.5 million trees.  

Established in 1971, Starbucks operates in more than 30,000 stores globally.

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