Lafayette, La. — McDonald’s Corporation and Lightsource bp have formed a power purchase agreement for a 145 MWac/180 MWdc solar project located in St. Landry Parish, La. The Prairie Ronde Solar project will generate an expected average of approximately 327,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 30,700 U.S. homes once complete. The deal helps advances McDonald’s commitment to climate action and its sustainability goals, while expanding Lightsource bp’s footprint of solar assets across the Southeast.
“Growing our partnership with Lightsource bp reaffirms our commitment to building a more sustainable McDonald’s system at a meaningful scale,” says Elaine Strunk, senior director, global sustainability, McDonald’s. “Prairie Ronde Solar will contribute to our climate aspirations while adding a considerable amount of new renewable generation to the grid.”
Lightsource bp will finance, build, own and operate the facility located about 25 miles north of Lafayette. McDonald’s will purchase all the solar energy the project generates, equivalent to approximately 630 restaurants’ worth of renewable electricity annually. Construction of the project is expected to begin in early 2023, with commercial operation starting in late 2024.
“This deal marks McDonald’s second solar project in Louisiana in partnership with Lightsource bp, bringing our statewide total of solar assets to 525 megawatts representing a cumulative half billion-dollar private investment,” says Kevin Smith, CEO, Lightsource bp, Americas. “McDonald’s is a great example of a corporate buyer whose commitment to sustainability is driving massive investment in new clean energy infrastructure for America’s energy security and clean energy future.”
Construction of the $170 million+ privately funded solar farm will:
- Create approximately 250 construction jobs for 18 months, comprised primarily of local labor.
- Provide an estimated $20 million boost to St. Landry Parish over the project life — creating additional funding for local schools and emergency services without a tax increase on its citizens or penalty to state funding for its schools.
- Invest $3.9 million annually during operations to maintain the facility and the land, inducing economic growth throughout the Parish and state.
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy and energy storage projects and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. For more than a decade, Lightsource bp has delivered affordable, safe and sustainable energy to businesses and communities around the world. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver and Philadelphia. Since 2019, the team has brought into operation or initiated construction on 3.2 gigawatts of U.S. solar projects with capital costs of nearly $4 billion across 11 states. For more information, visit www.lightsourcebp.com/us.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 40,000 locations in over 100 countries. In partnership with its franchisees, suppliers and producers, McDonald’s is finding innovative ways to reduce emissions, keep waste out of nature and preserve natural resources. Explore how McDonald’s is helping drive positive impact and making progress on its ESG priorities here.
SOURCE: Lightsource bp