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Powering a Cleaner, Brighter Future

How Constellation’s CORe+ Helps Starbucks Reach Sustainability Goals

The Challenge

Starbucks, the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee, is as passionate about its commitment to sustainability as it is to its coffee. Starbucks established a goal to invest in 100 percent renewable energy to power operations globally by 2020—a $140 million investment. Starbucks’ investment in a sustainable future includes designing, building and operating 10,000 “Greener Stores” globally by 2025. Starbucks’ commitment to greening its operations will focus on energy and water conservation measures, and advancing renewable energy resources through its purchasing practices. So how will Starbucks power stores with 100 percent renewable energy? Through investments in location-specific solar and wind projects.

The Solution

Constellation and Starbucks have entered into a long-term agreement that will power more than 340 company-operated Illinois stores—including the future Chicago Roastery—with 100 percent renewable energy from Enel Green Power (EGP) North America, Inc.’s HillTopper wind project in Logan County, Illinois. The agreement leverages the Constellation Off site Renewables + (CORe+) offering, which allows businesses to adopt renewable energy without the significant hurdles that accompany traditional off site Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). This in turn enables Starbucks to contribute to the development of a renewable project in a state—Illinois—where its stores are located. Constellation will purchase the electricity generated from a 14-megawatt portion of the HillTopper wind farm from Enel through a long-term PPA, and then sell it to Starbucks through a retail power agreement.

The Benefits

As a top purchaser of renewable electricity in the retail sector on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Retail Top 30, ranking 10th among all companies on the list, Starbucks shares in Constellation’s commitment to providing a cleaner, brighter, more sustainable future. Constellation was able to offer Starbucks attractive project terms and pricing along with the ease of a retail contract to purchase the off take from a wind project for its Illinois locations, which made the deal compelling, and in line with its overall commitment to sustainability.

The agreements reinforce Starbucks’ commitment to greening its operations through energy and water conservation measures and advancing renewable energy sources through its purchasing practices. It will also enable Starbucks to support the generation of approximately:


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Constellation tailors its integrated energy solutions to its customers’ unique needs, providing them with the flexibility to choose how to cost-effectively buy, manage and use energy to meet their business goals. Along with expertise, Constellation offers a wide range of innovative and integrated distributed energy products—including energy efficiency and resiliency solutions. Constellation is one of the nation’s leading competitive suppliers of power, natural gas, renewable energy, and energy management products. With more than 30 years of experience and over $2 billion in energy-related projects financed and built, Constellation helps business, nonprofit and public sector customers achieve sustainability goals, develop energy resiliency, manage costs and capital needs, and mitigate risk.

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Project Highlights:

  • 340+ stores and Chicago Roastery will be powered by renewable energy
  • Total Capacity: Approximately 185 megawatts
  • Once fully operational, will be able to generate around 570 gigawatt-hours annually
  • 12-year electricity contract
  • Approximately 49,800 megawatt hours of wind power will be purchased for Starbucks
  • Reduces electricity cost volatility for retail stores
  • Long-term electricity contract with project RECs
    (~6% of total electricity as generated)
  • Project Completion: December 2018
  • Investment in the construction of HillTopper amounts to approximately $325 million