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On Monday, Danish wind giant Ørsted announced that it is buying Morgan County, Illinois-based Lincoln Land Wind, a 302 MW onshore wind farm. The acquisition marks Ørsted’s first in the 15-state-wide U.S. Midwest and South (MISO) market. Lincoln Land Wind, which reached commercial operation last week, is fully contracted with power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) and McDonald’s. The company was sold from funds managed by private equity giant Ares‘s Infrastructure and Power Strategy.

“I’m delighted that we’re acquiring Lincoln Land Wind and that we continue to expand our footprint in the U.S.,” Ørsted Onshore’s Senior VP and Chief Commercial Officer Vishal Kapadia said in a statement on the deal. “This transaction represents the continued successful execution of our strategy of complementing our robust organic growth with opportunistic acquisitions in attractive new markets. The project is of significant scale and benefits from PPAs with Meta and McDonald’s, and we’re excited to be able to support both companies in their decarbonization journeys.”

“We’re pleased to have reached this agreement with Ørsted, and we believe this demonstrates the continued benefit of a value-add strategy in North American renewable energy,” said Ares Partner and Co-head of its Infrastructure and Power Strategy, Keith Derman.

Ares originally acquired the wind farm from developer and construction manager Apex Clean Energy, and Derman added that Ares was proud to have worked with Apex, Meta, McDonald’s and Morgan County to support sustainability objectives and bring jobs to the local community.

Meta and McDonald’s both signed long-term fixed-price PPA’s in 2020 to purchase approximately 175 MW and 126 MW, respectively, of clean power output from Lincoln Land Wind.

“At Meta, we’re committed to not only supporting our operations with 100 % renewable energy, but to helping accelerate the transition to renewable energy,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Meta. She continues: “With our new data centre being built in DeKalb in Illinois, we’re excited to help bring new renewable energy to the Illinois grid.”

“As a Chicago resident, McDonald’s is incredibly excited to be a part of a project in Southern Illinois and help generate renewable energy close to home,” said Emma Cox, Global Renewable Energy Lead at McDonald’s, adds: This project represents another important step towards our ambitious climate action goals and brings to life our values around supporting the communities we serve.”

Ørsted Onshore is aiming to reach 17.5 GW in 2030 and aims to deliver approximately 1.5 GW of additional capacity annually. The acquisition of Lincoln Land Wind brings Ørsted Onshore’s total U.S. capacity to over 4,200 MW in operation and under construction.

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