WFW advises CIP on third US renewables investment

29 November 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW“) has advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (“CIP”), through the fund Copenhagen Infrastructure II K/S, on a $61m mezzanine loan for the construction of the onshore wind farm Fluvanna I in Scurry County, Texas. Fluvanna I is owned and will be operated by Terna Energy S.A. The total investment in Fluvanna I will be $251m.

Comprising nearly 32,000 leased acres of privately owned farm and ranch land in Scurry County, West Texas, the Fluvanna Wind Energy Project is to be constructed in phases. Fluvanna Wind I (155.4 MW) is expected to be operational in 2017. The Fluvanna Wind Energy Project was developed under previous owner Tri Global Energy’s proprietary business model, which gives local landowners and community investors the opportunity to partner with, and have a substantial ownership in, wind projects that have leased their land.

This represents CIP’s third investment in the US renewables sector in 2016, following on from its purchase of the Offshore MW LLC wind project off the coast of Massachusetts in September from Blackstone and of two onshore wind projects – Bearkat Renewable Energy Project LLC (366 MW) and Blue Cloud Renewable Energy Project (150 MW) – in Texas from TriGlobal Energy in August. WFW acted for CIP on both acquisitions.

Founded in 2012, CIP focuses on investments in the regulated infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, primarily in Northern and Western Europe and the USA. In addition to its US acquisitions, WFW has also advised CIP on its acquisition of a 25% stake in the Beatrice Offshore Wind Project in Scotland and on is joint venture with TenneT regarding the offshore grid connection DolWin3, which transmits wind energy from the North Sea to Germany.

The transatlantic WFW team advising CIP was led by Global energy & infrastructure Sector Head Evan Stergoulis, working closely with New York corporate Partner Steven Hollander, real estate Partner Jeff Lampiasi and tax Partners Daniel Pilarski and Stephen Millman. They were assisted by energy & infrastructure Senior Associate Helen Forsey and Associate Catherine Killeen in London and real estate Associate Kathleen Udo and finance Associate Joice Varughese in New York.

WFW is one of the world’s leading law firms for renewable energy, regularly toping league table rankings from highly regarded industry publications, such as Inspiratia and Infranews. Most recently, the firm came first by deal count and third by transaction volume in Inspiratia’s Global Q3 2016 Infrastructure and Renewables Legal Adviser Rankings. WFW also dominated the North American market by advised deal count.

Evan commented: “That CIP has chosen WFW to advise on all its North American investments to date clearly demonstrates our standing as one of the leading law firms for renewables in the USA and is a well-deserved recognition for our fantastic team in New York in particular”.