Energy company Lightsource bp has announced that it will be investing $300 million to develop what is claimed to be Louisiana’s largest solar energy project, 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Construction of the 345MW project is expected to begin in the fall of 2021 for operations to begin in mid-2023. Once complete, the project will produce 600,000MWh of clean energy per annum, enough to power 59,000 US homes.
Lightsource has signed power purchase agreements with restaurant firm McDonald’s and multinational e-commerce corporation eBay for the supply of clean energy from the plant.
The solar project will:
Create approximately 400 construction jobs for 15-18 months, comprised primarily of local labour
Provide an estimated $30 million dollar boost to Pointe Coupee Parish over the project life – providing additional funding for schools, fire departments, libraries and health services – without a tax increase on its citizens
Deliver an indirect economic impact of over $200 million, according to a study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, an economic development agency supporting the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area.
In addition to ensuring energy security, the project will enable Lightsource bp, eBay, and McDonald’s to meet their sustainability goals. eBay seeks to leverage clean power purchase agreements to achieve its 2025, 100% renewables target.
Emma Cox, Global Renewable Energy Lead at McDonald’s, said: “Our renewable energy deal with Lightsource bp will not only create Louisiana’s largest solar project and serve as the latest milestone in making significant progress toward our science-based emissions reduction target for 2030, but also demonstrates our belief that meaningful solutions to building a sustainable future require partnership and collaboration.”
Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp, adds: “This agreement is a great example of the teamwork needed to achieve our mutual goals for a healthier, more sustainable, and resilient planet and economy for generations to come.”