McDonald's signs 'long term' deals for Texas wind and solar energy

Key Points
  • McDonald's joins a number of major U.S. firms signing renewable energy deals.
  • The fast food giant describes the agreements as being "long term" and "large scale."
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McDonald's has inked two power purchase agreements which will see the fast food giant buy renewable energy generated by wind and solar projects in Texas.

In an announcement Thursday McDonald's described the agreements as "long term" and "large scale." Construction on both projects is set to start over the next few months.

The firm said that the combined energy generated from its contribution to the projects was expected to come to 380 megawatts (MW). While the energy will not be routed directly to McDonald's restaurants or offices, it will nevertheless add to the total renewable energy available to the grid. McDonald's said energy produced by the facilities would equate to more than "2,500 restaurants-worth of electricity."

The wind energy portion of the deal will amount to 220 MW and come from Aviator Wind West, which is part of the larger, 525 MW Aviator Wind project in Coke County. Facebook is also purchasing around 200 MW of energy from the Aviator Wind East part of the scheme. McDonald's did not reveal the name of the solar project.

"These U.S. wind and solar projects represent a significant step in our work to address climate change, building on years of renewable energy sourcing in many of our European markets," Francesca DeBiase, who is the chief supply chain and sustainability officer at McDonald's, said in a statement.

McDonald's has said it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions related to its restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030, from a 2015 baseline.

It has also committed to a 31% cut in emissions intensity per metric ton of food and packaging across its supply chain by 2030 compared to 2015. The goals have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

McDonald's joins a number of major U.S. firms signing renewable energy deals.

Last month Amazon announced three renewable energy projects, including its first in Scotland. The tech giant said the facilities would provide energy to its Amazon Web Services data centers.

And in March, Microsoft signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for the energy produced by a 74-megawatt solar power facility in North Carolina.