Generate, a solar developer and project owner, announced that it has put the first six of up to 23 New York State community solar projects into service under a multi-year facility with Starbucks Coffee Company. The 90-MW portfolio of projects is 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 MWh 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 at 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. 38 Degrees North collaborated with Generate on the projects and financing.
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.
About 24 MW of the Starbucks-backed projects are now in service.