McDonald’s Signs VPPAs for 380MW of Wind, Solar

Combined, these first two VPPAs will meet the electricity needs of more than 2,500 restaurants.
Image via Pixabay

McDonald’s has turned to renewable energy. The restaurant company has signed two long-term, large-scale virtual power purchase agreements, whereby it will acquire green electricity from a solar farm and the Aviator Wind West project, both located in Texas.

Combined, the two VPPAs will supply McDonald’s with 380 megawatts, which will meet the electricity needs of more than 2,500 restaurants. In addition, this investment in green power will offset more than 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is the equivalent of planting more than 11 million trees or taking 140,000 cars off the road for one year.

Last year, McDonald’s set a greenhouse gas emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, and these VPPAs represent the company’s first big step in meeting it, which is to reduce GHG emissions related to its operations by 36 percent by 2030. The 380MW contract is estimated to deliver 16 percent progress toward its target, or 6 percent in GHG emissions reductions from its 2015 baseline.

The two renewable energy projects will also impact the local community by jointly generating more than $200 million in local tax revenue, will employ some 600 people during construction, and upon completion will provide 13 long-term jobs. Another green initiative McDonald’s has embarked on is called Scale for Good, which aims to make the restaurant company’s guest packaging come from 100 percent renewable, recycle or certified sources by 2025, as well as to recycle guest packaging in all its restaurants.