Starbucks makes ‘two-sided’ investment in Texas solar farms

by Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg

Starbucks Corp. is boosting its investments in clean power.

The Seattle-based coffee giant is investing in tax equity from a portfolio of eight Cypress Creek Renewables LLC solar farms in Texas, according to a statement Monday. Terms weren’t disclosed.

In tax-equity deals, companies passively invest in power projects in return for using renewable-energy credits that offset their own tax liabilities.

Starbucks also agreed to buy solar power from two of the Cypress Creek projects, in Wharton and Blossom, Texas. The 10-megawatt solar farms produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 360 Starbucks stores. The company announced in 2017 that it would buy power from a solar farm in North Carolina.

Starbucks is among the few companies that are both buying clean power and investing in tax equity, said Kyle Harrison, an analyst at BloombergNEF. “There’s a two-sided aspect to this: sustainability and a business opportunity,” he said.

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