The 300-MW Caddo site, with its three renewable energy sale agreements with investment-grade Fortune 500 customers, will double ALLETE Clean Energy’s capacity to serve the accelerating corporate demand for clean energy. The project is in Caddo County in southern Oklahoma.
“We’re honored to help McDonald’s advance its climate action goals while developing a project that will bring sizable economic benefits to rural Oklahoma,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck, Jr. “As corporations increasingly look to reduce carbon emissions through wind energy purchases, they also help build and strengthen local economies and diversify the nation’s power supply. Stable state and federal energy policy and local landowner and community support are foundational as we continue to deliver clean energy solutions to help customers achieve their sustainability goals.”
The project has the support of the local communities, where benefits include more than $50 million in tax revenue, $54 million in payments to landowners, and the creation of about 200 jobs during construction and 12 to 15 long-term operations jobs.
The Caddo agreement is part of a plan by McDonald’s to use its large scale to help address climate change for current and future generations. The company, in collaboration with franchisees and suppliers, plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year.
“The Caddo project is an important addition to McDonald’s growing portfolio of renewable energy investments as part of our commitment to climate action,” said Emma Gillespie Cox, North American Sustainability, McDonald’s. “ALLETE Clean Energy is a valued partner whose wind energy expertise helps us expand our impact on the environment, while also ensuring the access to and economic benefits of clean energy production for communities across the United States.”
Caddo’s approximately 110 turbines will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of about 110,000 homes, and increases ALLETE Clean Energy’s total operating, under construction and build-transfer wind energy projects to more than 1,450 MW of nameplate capacity. The company’s recent growth has come through serving new commercial and industrial customers through the Diamond Spring and Caddo projects in Oklahoma. ALLETE Clean Energy purchased both sites from Apex Clean Energy and, as at Diamond Spring, the two companies will work together to finalize development and construction of Caddo.
“The Caddo project is a bright example of ALLETE’s strategy of sustainability in action,” said ALLETE President and Chief Executive Officer Bethany Owen. “Corporate commitment to clean energy is driving a substantial percentage of growth in the renewable energy sector, and ALLETE Clean Energy is increasingly seen as a proven, trusted partner in bringing more wind energy online.”
The Caddo site is expected to be operational by the end of 2021 and qualify for the safe harbor provision of federal renewable energy production tax credits.