NEW YORK – In its latest high-profile renewable energy transaction, a team of Pillsbury lawyers led by Energy/Infrastructure/Projects partner Mona E. Dajani together with Tax partner Jorge Medina in Los Angeles and Energy/Infrastructure/Projects Partner Michael Reese in New York, represented CMS Enterprises in the purchase of the majority 51 percent stake in Aviator Wind Holdings, LLC, from Ares Management Corp.'s Infrastructure and Power division.
Located in northwest Texas, Aviator Wind, once operational, will be the largest single-phase wind project in the ERCOT area and the largest single-phase, single-site onshore wind project in the United States. It is expected to include 191 wind turbines and a total power output of approximately 525 MW. While construction began last October, it is targeted for operation in August 2020.
Aviator Wind will be operated by CMS Enterprises, a subsidiary of CMS Energy that develops, owns and operates utility-scale renewable energy facilities, including wind and solar. CMS Enterprises now owns and operates 11 independent power plants and more than 1,800 megawatts of generation nationwide.
Two large corporations, McDonald’s Corporation and Facebook, have Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs) for the vast majority of the off-take produced by the Aviator wind farm.
"Facebook and McDonald's join a growing roster of CMS Enterprises customers that have access to the full spectrum of energy products and services that we provide under one roof," said Richard Mukhtar, president of CMS Enterprises.
“This transaction is a great example of collaboration with the Pillsbury team working together with the various stakeholders, including the Ares Management Corp.’s Infrastructure and Power division, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Apex Clean Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. teams to achieve a great result for our respective clients,” said Dajani. “We look forward to continuing to represent CMS and our other clients in similar transactions in both domestic and international markets.”
Along with Dajani who was recently named again to A Word About Wind’s prestigious Top 100 Legal Power List 2020, the core multi-disciplinary Pillsbury team together with Medina and Reese included partners Jonathan Whitney, Glenn Richards, Dana Proud Newman, senior counsel Russell DaSilva, counsel Shellka Arora-Cox, Reza Zarghamee, Ted Powers, Josh Morton, Laura Jennings, Drew Navikas and Lee Petro, together with associates Narges Aminolsharei, Meghan Claire Hammond and Alexandra Murphy, attorney Evan Storm, and senior law clerk Danielle Unterschutz.
Pillsbury’s multidisciplinary energy team includes more than 200 lawyers who work across all sectors of the industry. The firm consistently ranks among the top law firms in highly respected league tables.
Pillsbury’s Energy/Infrastructure/Projects team represents clients on the project development, project ﬁnance, acquisition and disposition, day-to-day operations and restructurings of complex energy, infrastructure, digital mobility and industrial projects. Possessing wide-ranging legal knowledge across the power industry, from renewables (wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, biofuel, geothermal, energy storage) to gas-ﬁred and other thermal, to nuclear generation and transmission to oil and gas, mining and commodities and infrastructure, Pillsbury’s lawyers have worked on every aspect of complex projects in 75 countries across six continents.