Starbucks has closed on a three-project 146-MW renewable energy portfolio that consists of a 50-MW wind project and two solar projects totaling 96 MW. The portfolio, custom-built using LevelTen Energy‘s technology-enabled procurement platform, aggregates three strategically-located PPAs, each with nearly-identical terms, from three distinct project developers.
The portfolio incorporates 146 MW from three new renewable energy projects: 50 MW of wind power from an ALLETE Clean Energy project in the SPP market, acquired from Apex Clean Energy; 50 MW of solar power from a Cypress Creek Renewables project in the ERCOT market; and 46 MW of solar power from a BayWa r.e. project in the PJM market.
“As we continue to strive toward building and operating the world’s largest green retail business, we know we need to find innovative business models to achieve our renewable energy goals,” said Patrick Leonard, energy manager for Starbucks company operated stores in the United States and Canada. “Not only does this portfolio model allow us to support new solar and wind farms that will deliver the clean energy equivalent to the electricity powering over 3,000 stores, it also opens the door for many new buyers to cost-effectively source smaller amounts of renewable energy.”
The PPA portfolio model – much like a mutual fund – minimizes risk and allows buyers to capture the scale pricing benefits of the country’s largest, most economically attractive projects. The geographical and technological diversification inherent in a portfolio also better complements’ Starbucks’ energy footprint and strategy.
“The Starbucks portfolio PPA demonstrates the promise of new renewable energy purchasing models,” said Bryce Smith, founder and CEO of LevelTen Energy. “Starbucks is setting an important precedent in the corporate energy procurement space by demonstrating how a single off-taker can safely and easily procure shares of renewable energy from a variety new wind and solar projects. This approach enables many more corporate and institutional buyers to support, in a fiscally responsible way, the massive buildout of new clean energy projects across the globe.”
The Starbucks’ portfolio was made possible by LevelTen Energy’s Dynamic Matching Engine, software that curates and analyzes massive data sets on clean energy projects under development. This technology identifies optimal available project combinations for individual corporate buyers. Companies can then execute PPA contracts, individually, independent of other corporate buyers, or they can choose to partner, explicitly, with other buyers. Starbucks and LevelTen believe that the flexibility and transactability offered by the Dynamic Matching Engine, a vital component of the LevelTen Energy platform, represents the future of aggregation.
News item from LevelTen