McDonald’s and Lightsource bp amp up solar energy in Southeast US with second Louisiana project

  • Corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) executed for 145 MWac / 180 MWdc Prairie Ronde Solar project 
  • Estimated to abate 231,800 metric tons of GHG emissions annually, equivalent to annual emissions from about 50,000 fuel-burning cars 
  • Expected to stimulate local economy by bringing an estimated $20 million in new revenue to the local community, along with creating approximately 250 construction jobs 

McDonald’s Corporation today announced an agreement with Lightsource bp to purchase power from a 145 MWac / 180 MWdc solar project located in St. Landry Parish, La. The Prairie Ronde Solar project will generate an expected average of approximately 327,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 30,700 US homes once complete. The deal helps advances McDonald’s commitment to climate action and its sustainability goals, while expanding Lightsource bp’s footprint of solar assets across the Southeast. 

“Growing our partnership with Lightsource bp reaffirms our commitment to building a more sustainable McDonald’s system at a meaningful scale,” said Elaine Strunk, Sr. Director Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “Prairie Ronde Solar will contribute to our climate aspirations while adding a considerable amount of new renewable generation to the grid.” 

Lightsource bp will finance, build, own and operate the facility located about 25 miles north of Lafayette. McDonald’s will purchase all of the solar energy the project generates, equivalent to approximately 630 restaurants’ worth of renewable electricity annually. Construction of the project is expected to begin in early 2023, with commercial operation starting in late 2024. 

“This deal marks McDonald’s second solar project in Louisiana in partnership with Lightsource bp, bringing our statewide total of solar assets to 525 megawatts representing a cumulative half billion-dollar private investment,” said Kevin Smith, CEO, Lightsource bp, Americas. “McDonald’s is a great example of a corporate buyer whose commitment to sustainability is driving massive investment in new clean energy infrastructure for America’s energy security and clean energy future.” 

Local economic benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas pollution 

In addition to improving the health and energy security of communities across America, large-scale solar projects like Prairie Ronde Solar help strengthen local economies. Construction of the $170 million+ privately funded solar farm will: 

  • Create approximately 250 construction jobs for 18 months, comprised primarily of local labor 
  • Provide an estimated $20 million boost to St. Landry Parish over the project life – creating additional funding for local schools and emergency services without a tax increase on its citizens or penalty to state funding for its schools 
  • Invest $3.9 million annually during operations to maintain the facility and the land, inducing economic growth throughout the Parish and state 

Learn more about both Louisiana solar farms in partnership with McDonald's Corporation