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Starbucks invests in Ill. wind farm

The move will power some 340 coffee shops with renewable energy.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Starbucks plans to power more than 340 Illinois stores with renewable energy produced at a wind farm, according to a $325 million “long-term agreement” between the coffee giant and an energy company, announced Wednesday.

“It’s exciting to see Starbucks continue its commitment to play a role in the growth of renewable energy markets,” Rebecca Zimmer, director of global environmental impact for Starbucks, said in a statement. “We are identifying and investing in new green power projects that are close to our retail communities and give our store partners a story they can be proud of.”

Starbucks did not respond to a Restaurant Business request for more information about the program or whether it would expand to other markets.

The deal between Starbucks and energy provider Constellation will fund the expansion of the HillTopper wind farm in Logan County, Ill., slated to be operational by the end of the year.

Starbucks’ investment will allow the wind farm to generate some 48,000 megawatt-hours of wind power from HillTopper, enough to brew nearly 100 million cups of coffee, according to a news release.

The move is the latest in a longtime commitment by Starbucks to invest in environmentally friendly practices, from the search for a recyclable, compostable cup to a commitment to phase out plastic straws by 2020.

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