Vitol acquired an operating wind farm located in Illinois from a fund managed by BlackRock for an undisclosed sum, further signaling the global energy trader’s plans to be part of the energy transition.
“Vitol intends to be an active participant in the energy transition,” Ben Marshall, head of Vitol Americas, said in a statement.
The acquisition of Big Sky Wind, announced on April 19, will be the company’s first large U.S. wind generating asset and adds to its growing renewables portfolio, in the U.S. and globally, according to a company release.
“Big Sky Wind illustrates how we will deploy our significant capital and expertise across all energy solutions to achieve this,” Marshall continued referencing the energy transition.
“We are actively pursuing low-carbon projects across the Americas with a focus on development opportunities,” he added.
Big Sky Wind a 240 MW wind farm located in the PJM territory in Bureau and Lee counties in Illinois and is well placed to deliver clean energy to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, as well as the highly liquid Pennsylvania, Jersey power market.
“Vitol is committed to building its portfolio of renewable assets into a multi GW portfolio,” R. Andrew de Pass, head of renewables at Vitol Inc., added in a statement.
Big Sky Wind takes Vitol’s renewable generation capacity in the U.S. to over 700 MW of wind and solar projects in operation or development. Vitol also said it will invest over $250 million, in addition to the purchase price, to ensure Big Sky Wind benefits from market-leading technology.
“We will invest in and repower Big Sky Wind to make it a significant renewable asset for the future, capable of delivering more clean energy to C&I customers,” de Pass continued.
The repowering of Big Sky Wind will increase its annual energy output by 60% by year-end 2022 and will entail the installation of new highly efficient Vestas wind turbines, using the existing foundations and towers.
“We intend to grow our U.S. wind portfolio, primarily through repowering opportunities,” de Pass noted.
Vitol also has a significant U.S. portfolio of renewable natural gas plants, which generate in excess of 1.9 MMcf/d, according to the company release.