McDonald’s and eBay have both reached agreements with Lightsource bp to purchase power from what is planned to be Louisiana’s largest solar project, located 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish.
The installation in question is the 345 MW Ventress Solar project, set to start construction by the end of this year and slated for completion in 2023. Lightsource bp is developing the project and acting as owner-operator. The project’s 15-18 month construction window is expected to create around 400 jobs, while Ventress’ lifetime operations are estimated to generate a $30 million dollar boost to Pointe Coupee Parish and $200 million in indirect economic impact.
Beyond being a boon for the local community, Ventress is an installation entirely unprecedented in scope for the state of Louisiana. Once completed, project would represent a nearly 200% increase in the state’s total installed solar capacity, which currently sits at roughly 190 MW, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Successfully building a project of this capacity in a state with relatively little historical development could prove monumental in spurring Louisiana’s solar market, as SEIA expects the state to install just 507 MW over the next 5 years, less capacity than all but 12 states in that timespan.
As for McDonald’s and eBay, the project is expected to help both companies make significant progress toward their emission reduction goals. McDonald’s aims for a 31% reduction in emissions intensity per metric ton of food and packaging across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. eBay, on the other hand, is working towards achieving 100% renewable energy-powered operations by 2025.
The project is also expected to be dual-use in nature, with plans underway to include habitat creation and co-located agriculture at the project’s site.
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