Prairie Ronde Solar | 180MW in Louisiana

Key numbers


/145MWac of home-grown renewable energy, enough to power 31,000 homes

231,800 metric tons

of carbon emissions abated each year for healthier air


jobs created during construction, supporting local workers and domestic supply chains

$20 million

in property taxes, benefiting local schools & public services

$170 million

private investment in energy infrastructure for Louisiana's energy security and independence

Current status

Site Selection & Preliminary Design

Stakeholder outreach

Permitting & environmental studies

Land management & biodiversity planning

Final engineering, financing & construction

Operation & maintenance

Decommissioning & recycling

About the Prairie Ronde Solar project

The Prairie Ronde Solar project is currently under construction in St. Landry Parish. Lightsource bp is building and will own and operate the privately funded $170 million renewable energy project that will deliver electricity into the local grid, helping with Louisiana’s energy independence and energy security.

In February 2023, Lightsource bp and McDonald’s Corporation announced a Power Purchase Agreement for Prairie Ronde Solar. McDonald’s will purchase all of the solar energy the project generates, equivalent to approximately 630 restaurants’ worth of renewable electricity annually. Commercial operation of the project is expected to begin in late 2024. 

The Prairie Ronde project will do even more than reduce carbon emissions for healthier air. Construction of the solar farm will create 250 direct construction jobs, the majority of which will be filled by members of the local labor force. The solar farm will provide a boost of more than $20 million to St. Landry Parish public services such as local school systems and emergency services over the life of the project without a tax increase on its citizens. This includes $8.3 million in the first five years after construction begins. An additional $3.9 million annual operating budget will be spent in the region as well.


Investing in St. Landry Parish

Lightsource bp is looking forward to being members of the St. Landry Parish community. As part of our commitment to supporting communities that are home to our solar projects, we have dedicated a St. Landry Parish Community Fund. We are working with community members to ensure the fund is used for initiatives that benefit the community to address its needs and what matters most. 

We have allocated funds to the following local initiatives, to date:

  • A new Welcome Center for the St. Landry Parish Veteran’s Memorial. The space will feature information, displays and visuals for visitors of the center, which honors parish veterans who served in wars over the last century.
  • Assisting Family Worship Christian Academy purchase band instruments and music materials, a classroom SmartBoard, sports bleachers, STEM learning materials and student behavior incentives.
  • New football helmets for the Plaisance Middle School.

Connect with a community ambassador

Lightsource bp is dedicated to supporting communities that are home to our solar projects across America. That’s why we have an entire Community Relations team that works closely with our neighbors to maximize the positive social impacts of our projects. 

If you would like to connect with a community ambassador, please email USCommunityRelations@lightsourcebp.com. 


Solar farm basics: What, why and how?

Solar farms generate enough home-grown electricity to power thousands of homes, with no carbon emissions, for healthier air. Solar helps diversify our country’s energy mix, adding resilience and security to America’s energy infrastructure, reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources while driving down electricity costs. 

In solar farms, rows of solar panels produce electricity, which flows into the local electric grid, exactly the same as a fossil fuel electric plant – powering places like homes, businesses, schools and hospitals.  

Solar panels are mounted on racking that sits on posts – those posts take up less than 5% of the land. This leaves significant open space under the panels, in the rows and in buffer areas to plant site-specific grasses and other vegetation with a goal of increasing biodiversity in the first 5 years of operation. We also integrate agriculture where practicable.  

The racking is equipped with smart solar trackers that slowly and quietly rotate throughout the day, following the sun to maximize solar energy production. These smart trackers serve other important purposes, too – they help protect solar panels from hailstorms, high winds, and buildup of snow on solar panels.  

Our Responsible Solar approach

Lightsource bp has a deep commitment to delivering safe, clean and affordable energy, as well as maximizing the environmental sustainability and positive social impacts of each of our projects. We call this approach Responsible Solar. We pay attention to every detail, from the fencing we choose to the vegetation we plant. We want our Prairie Ronde Solar farm to be a great project for the local community. 

In developing the Prairie Ronde Solar project, we have adhered to the ordinance adopted by St. Landry Parish Government, which provides local regulatory control over solar farms. We have implemented our best practices for solar farm development, in adherence with the local ordinance, including:

Environment and aesthetics

  • Adding buffer zones of greenspace with trees and shrubs between the solar panels and public view, with minimum 150-foot public road setbacks and 150-foot minimum home setbacks.
  • Installing an agricultural game style fence, consistent with the local aesthetic of the area, around the project as opposed to industry-standard chain link fencing. 
  • Planting vegetation under and around the solar panels, with a seed mix customized for the local area in order to increase biodiversity and improve soil health. Our plans include restoring an area to Louisiana’s native Coastal Prairie ecosystem. 

Upkeep and decommissioning

  • Development of comprehensive drainage and traffic management plans, which include plans and guarantees for remediation if any damage is done to Parish infrastructure during construction. 
  • Budgeting for consistent maintenance and upkeep of the facility. 
  • Committing to recycling all solar panels: Lightsource bp has a zero landfill policy for solar panels.  
  • Preparing a full decommissioning plan to ensure that the project will be removed at the end of its life. 

Responsible Solar Stories

Find out more about our Responsible Solar approach in action.

Habitat creation and preservation at Prairie Ronde Solar

Learn about three ways we are creating natural habitat at Prairie Ronde Solar.

Read story

Our commitment to solar panel recycling and safety

Recycling and safety are top priorities

It’s so much more than a solar farm

A solar farm is so much more than you think. It’s a jobs farm. It’s a biodiversity farm. It’s an educational farm for local schools. It’s a new year-round type of harvest for your neighbor farmers that helps them keep their land for future generations.

Long-term benefits

In addition to generating affordable, clean energy for Louisiana’s electrical grid, development of the land with home-grown solar energy has several additional long-term benefits, including: 

  • Rest and regeneration of the land during the project’s life, improving soil health and preserving it for future use. 
  • Healthy groundcover under and around the panels that boosts local biodiversity, creating a stable, long-term home for plants, pollinators, birds and other wildlife. 
  • Opportunity for integrated agriculture such as sheep grazing or bee keeping.  
  • Rural resilience through continued local ownership of the land. 
  • Energy security and independence from foreign sources of fuel. 
  • Healthier air quality by generating electricity with no polluting carbon dioxide emissions. 

Economic growth for the community

The Prairie Ronde Solar project represents a $170+ million capital investment into home-grown, affordable energy for Louisiana, using private funding. This opens many doors for economic growth, including: 

  • Throughout the life of the project, $20+ million in new tax revenue will be generated, benefitting local school systems and many other community public services – without an increase in taxes to local residents. 
  • 250 jobs will be created during peak construction of the project, prioritizing the hiring of local subcontractors and local labor. 
  • Lightsource bp is committed to supporting philanthropic activities and charitable donations to local organizations.  We are dedicating $400,000 toward a St. Landry Parish Community Fund. 

Information and resources

We’ve put together a collection of resources for anyone who’d like to know more about utility-scale solar farms, or solar energy in general.

Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about this project, email USCommunityRelations@lightsourcebp.com, or fill out the form below. We aim to get back to you within five working days.

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