The 525MW Aviator wind power project under construction in Coke County, Texas, will be the biggest single-site onshore wind farm to be developed in the US in a single phase.

The onshore wind farm is being developed by Apex Clean Energy and it will be operated by CMS Enterprises, a subsidiary of CMS Energy.

The project was initially 100% owned by Ares Management Corporation through the private investment funds managed by Ares Infrastructure and Power (AIP).

Ares Management sold a 51% stake to CMS Energy and a 48.5% stake to KPIC USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Kansai Electric Power while retaining only a 0.5% ownership in the project in July 2020.

The construction works for the Aviator onshore wind farm have been underway since October 2019 with the start commercial operations expected by the end of 2020.

Aviator onshore wind farm location and make-up 

The Aviator onshore wind farm is located near Robert Lee, in Coke County, Central Texas, approximately 550km northwest of Houston and 402km southwest of Dallas, US.

The wind farm will be installed with a total of 191 units of GE’s 2MW platform of onshore wind turbines for a total power output of 525MW.

The wind farm will comprise 136 units of GE 2MW-116 wind turbines and 55 units of GE 2MW-127 wind turbines. Both of the turbine variants will have a cut-in wind speed of 3.0m/s.

The GE 2MW-116 onshore wind turbines, with a rated output of 2.72MW each, will have a 116m-diameter rotor and a hub height of 90m.

The GE 2MW-127 wind turbines will have a 116m-diameter rotor and 90m-hub height, and provide a rated output of 2.72MW each.

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the Aviator onshore wind farm 

Facebook signed a 200MW power purchase agreement (PPA) for the eastern section of the Aviator onshore wind farm with Ares Management and Apex Clean Energy in September 2019. 

It was followed by the signing of a 220MW PPA with McDonald’s Corporation for the western portion of the Aviator onshore wind project in November 2019.

Contractors involved

Fagen, an engineering and construction company headquartered in Minnesota, was awarded the Balance of Plant (BOP) engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Aviator onshore wind farm by Apex Energy in August 2019.

General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy is the supplier of wind turbines for the Aviator Onshore wind farm project.

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright advised Kansai Electric Power for the purchase of a 48.5% ownership stake in the Aviator onshore wind power project from Ares Management Corporation.

Pillsbury provided advisory services to CMS Enterprises for the purchase of a 51% interest in the Aviator wind from Ares Management Corporation in July 2020.

Husch Blackwell was engaged as the local counsel for the Aviator Onshore wind project in 2019.