Starbucks has teamed up with Cypress Creek Renewables and U.S. Bank for a portfolio of solar farms across Texas. As part of the deal, Cypress Creek, one of the nation’s leading solar companies, will provide enough energy from two solar farms it developed and operates for close to 360 Starbucks stores in the state, including stores in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, and Arlington.
The move by Starbucks is part of a renewable energy commitment, one in which the company hopes to reduce its environmental impact by investing in local projects to directly support the markets where it has stores.
“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.”
These Texas Starbucks stores will be powered by two 10-megawatt Cypress Creek-owned solar farms located in Wharton and Blossom, Texas. Additionally, Starbucks has invested in six other Cypress Creek-owned solar farms in Texas, representing 50 megawatts of solar energy. Between the eight projects, Starbucks’ goal is to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 101,000 tons per year, the equivalent of planting nearly 2.5 million trees.
“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,” says Matthew McGovern, CEO of Cypress Creek Renewables.
The U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the tax credit division of U.S. Bank, helped to facilitate the transaction between Starbucks and Cypress Creek. Starbucks and U.S. Bank previously worked together to develop and finance a solar project in Maxton, North Carolina that powers 600 Starbucks stores in that area.
“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 with the USBCDC.