Imagine if your fast food was made by the power of the sun – while we aren’t quite there yet, one major fast food giant is making major strides. McDonald’s has recently opted to “go solar”, following the path of other big corporations. It has recently agreed to two power purchase contracts, through which renewable generated by solar and wind projects in will be purchased.  

Long Term Solar Plans 

A spokesperson for McDonald’s described the agreement related to solar and wind power as large scale and long-term. And this solar plan isn’t far off in the future, as construction is expected to begin within the next few months. Combined energy produced from contribution to the solar and wind projects should come to roughly 380 megawatts.  

The energy generated by the wind and solar projects is not going to be directly routed to McDonald’s offices and restaurants; however, it is going to contribute to the total renewable energy which is available to the grid. According to a spokesperson for McDonald’s, the energy that is produced is going to be the equivalent of more than 2,500 restaurants in terms of electric power.  

McDonald’s and Wind & Solar Power 

In terms of the wind power, it will come from  (Coke County, Texas) and is expected to add up to 220 MW. Another company you are sure to be familiar with that is purchasing energy from Aviator Wind East is Facebook. The name of the solar project is a solar secret – it has not been revealed.  

Chief supply chain and sustainability officer at McDonald’s, Francesca DeBiase, discussed how the solar and wind projects in the U.S. are representative of the company’s efforts to address climate change. The wind and solar projects build on years of clean energy sourcing in European markets. 

McDonald’s has mentioned a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from administrative centers and restaurants by 2030 to the tune of 36 percent by 2030 (from a 2015 baseline). The corporation has also discussed a desire to cut emissions intensity for each metric ton of packaging and food by 31 percent by the year 2030 – again, compared to 2015. The Science Based Targets Initiative has approved these objectives. Going solar is a huge, admirable endeavor and working to benefit the planet in any way possible is worth talking about.  

The solar and wind investment being made by McDonald’s is going to generate roughly $200 million in terms of local tax revenue in the state of Texas. It is expected to provide approximately 600 short-term jobs in construction and other areas, too.  

Major Corporations, Major Solar Efforts  

Of course, McDonald’s is far from the only major corporation committed to going solar. Many other firms in the United States have signed clean energy deals in recent history. Those companies include Amazon, which recently announced new renewable energy projects, including one in Scotland. Microsoft is another company that signed a 15-year power purchase contract for energy produced by a North Carolina solar power facility.  

Clearly, McDonald’s isn’t the only major corporation going solar. But also worth mentioning is the fact that the solar/wind investment is part of its plan to make big overall improvements. Some of the other improvements being made relevant to the environment include eliminating foam and making efforts to lessen the environmental impact resulting from cups. The company has a platform called , through which it is attempting to see all its guest packaging come from recycled sources by 2025.  

It is great to see companies with huge platforms making a “solar” difference for the planet. Going solar is just one step. There are many things companies and individuals can do to help our environment. Get ideas by staying on top of solar news and stay in the know. Think about efforts you can make in your community, whether that might entail using solar panels or even making the choice to use less plastic in day to day life.  

Sources: 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/mcdonalds-signs-long-term-deals-for-texan-wind-and-solar-energy.html 

https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/mcdonalds-buys-some-renewable-energy 

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