McDonald’s and eBay have both signed 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 345 MW Ventress Solar project is set to go into construction by the end of this year and slated for completion in 2023. Lightsource BP is developing the project and acting as owner-operator.
Once completed, project would represent a nearly 200 per cent increase in the state’s total installed solar capacity, which according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) currently sits at roughly 190 MW. 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.
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 per cent 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 per cent 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.