Sun.
Nov 28
2021
wind
Image: Karsten Würth via Unsplash

Orsted, the world’s top offshore wind farm developer, will power Facebook and McDonald’s with clean energy after it purchased a U.S.-based wind array.

Denmark’s largest energy company bought Lincoln Land Wind in Illinois from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Infrastructure and Power, according to a press release. The release did not name the price. 

Meta (the Facebook company’s name) and McDonald’s have both signed long-term fixed-price power purchase agreements (PPAs) to purchase approximately 175 MW and 126 MW, respectively, of clean power output from Lincoln Land Wind. 

The long-term supply agreements with well-heeled corporate leaders locks in future revenues for Orsted and gives the utility large measure of security as it expands its U.S. operations inland.

Corporates seeking to cut carbon emissions and mitigate global warming are pushing ahead in their respective spheres to both produce and source cleaner energy. Big Tech companies like Facebook and Apple have committed to leadership roles in the transition and seek to run their platforms on clean energies.

“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. “With our new data centre being built in DeKalb in Illinois, we’re excited to help bring new renewable energy to the Illinois grid.”

Facebook and McDonald’s will, in turn, benefit from working with Orsted. The company has long been a leader in energy transitions, but historically, mostly on the other side of the Atlantic. Last year, Orsted and BP announced plans to partner on the oil and gas giant’s first full-scale green hydrogen project.

Orsted, itself once one of the most coal-intensive companies in Europe, has since moved away from fossil fuels. It has divested its natural gas business to concentrate on renewables and plans to be carbon neutral by 2025.

“This transaction represents the continued successful execution of our strategy of complementing our robust organic growth with opportunistic acquisitions in attractive new markets,” according to Vishal Kapadia, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in Orsted Onshore. “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.”

Lincoln Land Wind reached commercial operation on November 17.

Orsted Onshore seeks to reach 17.5 GW of power generation in 2030 and aims to deliver approximately1.5 GW of additional capacity every year to reach that goal. The acquisition of Lincoln Land Wind brings Orsted’s total onshore capacity in the U.S. to over 4,200 MW in operation and under construction.

By Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is an energy markets journalist and the editor of New Economy Observer.

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