Starbucks signs unique community solar deal involving 23 projects in New York

Generate has put the first six of up to 23 New York State community solar projects into service under an innovative multi-year facility with Starbucks Coffee Company. The projects are expected to supply solar energy for local Starbucks stores and up to 24,000 households, small businesses, nonprofits, churches, universities and stores in multiple geographies, including those designated as under-served communities. In addition to clean energy, program participants will receive a discount to their current electricity rates under New York State’s Community Distributed Generation program, making clean energy access more affordable.

The solar projects will provide more than 119,885 MWhs of clean energy to Starbucks New York stores and the surrounding community annually, supporting Starbucks’ multi-decade commitment to becoming a resource-positive company by storing more carbon than it emits and reducing carbon by 50% by 2030. Starbucks has committed $97 million of tax equity to the community solar projects, in an innovative collaboration with Generate and Churchill Stateside Group.

“At Starbucks, our vision is to become resource positive, to give more than we take from the planet. People is what this climate crisis is all about and so we must focus on the people who are disproportionally impacted by climate change,” said Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer, Starbucks. “That is why we go beyond simply powering our stores with green energy; we’re committed to supporting and strengthening underserved communities and using our scale for good to bring more clean power onto the grid.”

The projects represent some of the first community solar and storage projects in New York State’s fast-growing community solar market.

Generate is a leading owner and operator of community solar and storage projects in New York State, with more than 182 MW of New York community solar projects owned or in construction. 38 Degrees North collaborated with Generate on the projects and financings.

“Generate is thrilled to partner with Starbucks and Churchill on this unique multi-year financing facility that enables the continued deployment of distributed, affordable clean energy for New Yorkers,” said Peggy Flannery, Principal at Generate. “Community solar is a critical opportunity to democratize access to clean energy, and we are excited to work with such an innovative corporate partner, with our trusted developers and with our New York customers to bring this entire 90 MW portfolio into service.”

Starbucks made the investment through a fund established by financial services company Churchill Stateside Group. Additionally, Starbucks is receiving renewable energy credits from the projects, which are expected to offset over 70% of Starbucks electricity usage within the state.

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