Starbucks explores utility-scale storage in new procurement endeavor - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 10, 2020

Starbucks explores utility-scale storage in new procurement endeavor

Starbucks announced Dec. 9 that it has entered into an agreement to virtually procure 5.5 MW of battery storage capacity and 24 MW of solar energy in a first-of-its-kind corporate financial agreement for utility-scale storage.

The agreement was facilitated by LevelTen Energy and will allow the coffee chain to source energy and storage from Terra-Gen’s Edwards Sanborn Solar and Storage project. Under the contract, Starbucks will contract storage capacity rather than purchasing stored renewable energy that is often sold during the highest-priced hours of the day. 

“In 2019, Starbucks innovated when it worked with LevelTen Energy to create an unprecedented portfolio of three renewable power purchase agreements. Now, Starbucks is again paving the way for others to follow with this innovative contract for utility-scale storage,” Bryce Smith, CEO of LevelTen Energy, said in a statement. “By investing in storage, Starbucks will increase the value of its existing renewable energy portfolio and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels at the same time. It’s a transaction template for others and an incredible mechanism to rapidly scale storage capacity on the grid.”

Previously, it was impractical for most corporations to contract with utility-scale storage developers. It is expected that this type of financial agreement will provide opportunities for billions of dollars in investment in large-scale energy storage projects, in a similar way to which VPPAs allowed for greater wind and solar project development around the world.

The Edwards Sanborn Solar and Storage project is expected to come online in Southern California in 2022 and will help Starbucks in its goal to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions from operations and its supply chain.

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