In this week’s Solar News Roundup, Starbucks commits to powering Texas store locations with solar energy, and Chicago becomes the largest city to make a 100 percent clean energy commitment.
Starbucks Coffee Co. powers 360 Texas stores with solar energy
Starbucks Coffee Co. is investing in two, 10-megawatt solar projects to power 360 Texas storefronts with renewable energy. These projects, in addition to six Texas solar farms that Starbucks previously invested in, are offsetting the company’s carbon emissions by 101,100 tonnes per year.
For Starbucks, these investments contribute to the company’s well-established corporate social responsibility goals. As Rebecca Zimmer, Starbucks’ Director of Global Environmental Impact, stated, “Our long-standing commitment to renewable energy supports our greener retail initiative and demonstrates our aspiration to sustainable coffee, served sustainably.”
Starbuck’s solar investments aren’t limited to projects in the Lone Star State; the company has invested in a 47 MW North Carolina solar project that powers roughly 600 stores. This is just one of many recent examples of large corporations investing in corporate renewable energy procurement.
Chicago commits to 100 percent clean energy by 2035
Earlier this month, the Chicago City Council voted to commit to 100 percent clean energy by 2035. As a part of this effort, the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA), the country’s second-largest public transportation system, plans to completely electrify its bus fleet by 2040.
Though Chicago is not the first city to make a 100 percent renewable target, it is the largest city to make such a commitment thus far. The only cities in a position to take the title, should they pass similar legislation, are Los Angeles and New York. With the addition of the Windy City, the list of U.S. cities that have joined the 100 percent commitment club reached 119.
This announcement comes as no surprise given the city’s history in supporting renewable energy goals: just two years ago, Chicago committed to powering all of its public buildings with clean energy by 2025. Additionally, the State of Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act calls for transitioning the entire state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, so a 100 percent renewable Chicago was ultimately inevitable.