Financing for both projects was facilitated by power purchase agreements. For the Arkansas project, the agreement is with Conway Corp. and for the Louisiana project the agreement is with McDonald’s and eBay.
August 4, 2021
Source: Billy Ludt / solarpowerworldonline.com
McDonald’s and eBay contracted Lightsource bp to purchase power from what will be Louisiana’s largest solar project, located 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish. Florida-based LPL Solar will be the EPC on the project.
The 345-MW Ventress Solar project will help McDonald’s and eBay will contribute to the corporations’ sustainability goals. Once complete, the project will generate energy equivalent to the average annual consumption of 59,000 U.S. homes.
“As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to help spur significant action around climate change,” said Emma Cox, global renewable energy lead at McDonald’s. “Our renewable energy deal with Lightsource bp will not only create Louisiana’s largest solar project and serve as the latest milestone in making significant progress toward our science-based emissions reduction target for 2030, but also demonstrate our belief that meaningful solutions to building a sustainable future require partnership and collaboration.”
Construction is expected to begin at the end of this year on the Ventress Solar farm, with commercial operation slated for mid-2023. Lightsource bp is developing the project and will be the long-term owner and operator.
“At eBay, investing in clean energy remains a focus of our business as we aim to attain 100% renewable energy by 2025,” said Renee Morin, chief sustainability officer, eBay. “This project enables us to source the clean energy equivalent of our data center. Our collaboration with Lightsource bp and McDonald’s uniquely propels our shared goal to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.”
The solar project will create about 400 construction jobs for local laborers over its 18-month construction timeline. A long-term environmental plan is underway for Ventress Solar that aims to create habitat and co-locate agriculture to farm the land while harnessing solar energy.
“This agreement is a great example of the teamwork needed to achieve our mutual goals for a healthier, more sustainable and resilient planet and economy for generations to come,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp. “Customer aggregation deals such as this allow businesses of varying sizes and energy needs to come together and spur meaningful development of clean and affordable energy sources in the US. This collaborative agreement by McDonald’s and eBay is a model we hope others will replicate.”