Starbucks goes green with Generate

Generate, a provider of sustainable infrastructure in the United States, has announced that its first six state community solar projects will be used to power global coffeehouse and roastery, Starbucks Coffee Company.

This project will also provide solar-power to communities across the state of New York, including up to 24,000 households alongside businesses, not-for-profits, churches, universities, and stores with a focus on areas classified as ‘under-served communities’.

Program participants will also receive a discount on current electricity rates as part of New York State’s Community Distributed Generation program that aims to make clean energy more affordable.

Generate’s six solar projects will provide more than 119,885 million kilowatt hours of solar energy to Starbucks stores across New York Stores, supporting Starbucks commitment to become “resource-positive”.

This follows Starbucks’ 2020 announcement where Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson states that the brand had a “multi-decade aspiration” to store more carbon than it was producing. Starbucks has also set a target to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2030.

“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,” says Michael Kobori, Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer.

Generate’s solar project is one of the first community solar and storage projects in New York, with 23 state community solar projects being built in total. Created in collaboration with Churchill Stateside Group, 38 Degrees North also aided with the projects financing.

Starbucks has committed US$97 million of tax equity towards the project which was done through a fund established by Churchill Stateside Group. In addition, Starbucks is also receiving energy credits from the project with an estimated 70 per cent of its electricity state-wide being offset.

“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,” says Peggy Flannery, Principal at Generate. “Community solar is a critical opportunity to democratise 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 megawatt portfolio into service.”

Founded in 1971, Starbucks has more than 32000 stores worldwide with “an unwavering commitment to excellence and its guiding principles”.

“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,” says Kobori.

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