California — EDF Renewables North America announced a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with McDonald’s Corp (NYSE: MCD).
The 255 MWac / 332 MWdc Apollo Solar project will help McDonald’s to meet its sustainability goals and advance its commitment to climate action. Apollo Solar, located in Texas, is expected to begin delivery of low carbon electricity in June 2024.
Approximately 300 jobs are expected to be created during the 2023-2024 construction phase with more than $30 million generated in new tax revenue over the operating life for taxing entities. Apollo Solar will produce clean energy while minimizing impacts to wildlife, habitat, and other environmental resources.
“We applaud McDonald’s for taking action on climate change and are honored to partner with them to address their restaurant electricity carbon footprint,” said Matt McCluskey, Vice President Development, South Central Region for EDF Renewables. “Through the purchase of clean energy from Apollo Solar, McDonald’s will be able to reduce GHG emissions in support of their sustainability goals while the project construction phase will provide the local community with a boost to the economy through job creation, local spending with vendors, and an expanded tax base.”
McCluskey continued, “It’s been a great pleasure to work with a counterparty such as McDonald’s who is willing to provide the flexibility needed to bring the Apollo Solar Project to fruition during these uncertain times for the solar industry. EDF Renewables is committed to continuing its successful partnerships with corporate and industrial customers who have emerged as large buyers of renewable energy.”
“We are thrilled to add EDF Renewables and the Apollo Solar project to our U.S. renewable energy portfolio as part of our continued commitment to climate action,” said Elaine Strunk, Sr. Director Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “Apollo Solar plays a significant role in our science-based emissions reduction target for 2030 and brings a considerable amount of new renewable generation to the grid. Together with EDF Renewables, this project furthers our shared goal of making a more sustainable planet for generations to come.”
Strunk added: “Importantly, McDonald’s has a responsibility to foster positive impact in the local communities it serves, and we are excited about the meaningful economic opportunities Apollo Solar will help create for those living in the area.”
Walid Norris, Vice President, Client Solutions for CustomerFirst Renewables said, “Corporate demand for clean energy has remained strong despite the supply chain issues troubling the solar market. The McDonald’s team was determined through their use of innovative contracting structures to execute a major solar procurement that would significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and they found a great partner with EDF Renewables. We are proud to have supported them in this effort and congratulate all parties involved for reaching this exciting outcome.”
Once complete, the project is expected to generate 619,000 MWh of low-carbon energy annually, enough to meet the consumption of over 1,200 U.S. McDonald’s restaurants1. This is equivalent to avoiding over 439,000 metric tons of carbon (CO₂) emissions annually, representing the greenhouse gas emissions from over 95,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.