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CMS Energy buys majority stake in Aviator Wind

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CMS Energy has purchased a majority stake in Aviator Wind, a 525-megawatt wind energy project in Texas that will support efforts by Facebook and McDonald’s to achieve their clean energy goals.

The project will start operations by fall 2020 in Coke County, about 250 miles southwest of Dallas.

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.

“Through Aviator Wind, we’re proud to continue the drive toward sustainable energy and help two of the nation’s largest organizations meet their aggressive renewables goals. 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.”

Richard Mukhtar, president of CMS Enterprises.

With the Aviator Wind acquisition, CMS Enterprises now owns and operates 11 independent power plants and more than 1,800 megawatts of generation nationwide.

Aviator Wind will help Facebook – the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2019 – reach its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and support 100% of its operations with renewable energy this year.

“This project will be an important part of helping us successfully reach our targets, and we are proud to be bringing 200 megawatts of new wind energy online.”

Urvi Parekh, renewable energy manager at Facebook.

“Through this project, we’re able to significantly generate progress toward our Climate Action Target to reduce emissions related to McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030. Now more than ever we’re thrilled to see the positive impact this project will have on the community and planet.”

Emma Cox, sustainability manager for McDonald’s.

CMS Enterprises purchased the project’s majority stake from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Infrastructure and Power strategy, which constructed and managed the project. Kansai Electric Power is the project’s other major partner.

“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, CMS Energy is committed to our Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit that drives us to take a leadership role with clean energy projects like Aviator Wind. Aviator Wind offers an example of how we can develop energy solutions that keep U.S. businesses competitive and address our planet’s most pressing needs.”

DV Rao, CMS Energy’s senior vice president of strategy.
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