With the acquisition of the 302 MW operational wind farm, Ørsted enters the US MISO market, which covers 15 states in the Midwest and the South. Lincoln Land Wind is fully contracted via power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Meta, formerly the Facebook company, and McDonald’s Corporation (‘McDonald’s’). Lincoln Land Wind reached commercial operation on November 17.
Ørsted announced that it has acquired Lincoln Land Wind, a 302 MW onshore wind farm in Morgan County, Illinois, from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Infrastructure and Power strategy (‘Ares’).
Vishal Kapadia, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in Ørsted Onshore, says: “I’m delighted that we’re acquiring Lincoln Land Wind and that we continue to expand our footprint in the US. This transaction represents the continued successful execution of our strategy of complementing our robust organic growth with opportunistic acquisitions in attractive new markets.” He continues: “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 decarbonisation journeys.”
Ørsted acquires Lincoln Land Wind from Ares, which purchased the project from developer and construction manager Apex Clean Energy. Keith Derman, Partner and Co-Head of Ares Infrastructure and Power, says: “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.” He adds: “We’re proud to have worked with Apex, Meta, McDonald’s, and Morgan County to support their sustainability objectives and bring jobs to the local community.”
Meta and McDonald’s have both signed long-term fixed-price PPA’s 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,” says 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.”
Emma Cox, Global Renewable Energy Lead at McDonald’s, adds: “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. This project represents another important step towards our ambitious climate action goals and brings to life our values around supporting the communities we serve.”
The PPAs with McDonald’s and Meta were entered into in 2020 and are effective as of COD.
Ørsted Onshore has an ambition 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 US capacity to over 4,200 MW in operation and under construction.