5 September 2016
International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW“) advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (“CIP”) on the acquisition, on behalf of its Copenhagen Infrastructure II fund, of 100% of OffshoreMW LLC (“OffshoreMW”) from leading US private equity firm Blackstone. OffshoreMW holds a 675 square km offshore wind energy lease issued by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and located off the coast of Massachusetts, north eastern US.
This represents CIP’s second acquisition in the US renewables sector, following on from its purchase only last month (August 2016) of two onshore wind projects in Texas, on which WFW also acted as their legal adviser. Outside the US, CIP already owns stakes in two offshore wind farms – the 588MW Beatrice in the UK and the 402 MW Veja Mate in Germany (WFW was involved in both transactions).
OffshoreMW is eligible to participate in the utility tender program established by recently enacted legislation in the state of Massachusetts, which calls for a total of 1600 MW of new offshore wind capacity by 2027. The first tender round to obtain a long term power offtake agreement, in which CIP’s new project is eligible to participate, should take place mid-2017, with the first power supplied by the projects expected in 2021.
The transatlantic WFW team advising CIP was led by London partner and Global Energy & Infrastructure Sector Head Evan Stergoulis, working closely with New York partners Steve Hollander (Corporate) and Daniel Pilarski (Tax). They were assisted by senior associate Emmanuel Ninos in London and associates Arila Zhou and Daniel Berger in New York.
Evan commented: “I’m delighted to have advised CIP on their second foray into the US renewables markets, a clear demonstration of the trust they place in us and in our sector expertise. This also highlights the high regard in which our New York practice is held, a vital component of any truly global renewables practice given the increasing interest European investors and developers, a number of whom we are also advising, are showing in the US onshore and offshore wind markets”.