Vitol acquires Illinois wind farm in renewables push

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A sign is pictured in front of the Vitol Group trading commodities building in Geneva October 4, 2011.REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - Global energy trader Vitol has acquired a 240 megawatt (MW) wind farm from a BlackRock-managed fund for an undisclosed price, it said on Monday, marking the company's first large U.S. wind asset purchase.

The push towards a lower-carbon economy has been exerting pressure on the global oil industry, but Vitol said the deal for Big Sky Wind in Illinois shows how it is adapting to the changing landscape.

"Vitol intends to be an active participant in the energy transition," Ben Marshall, Head of Vitol Americas, said in a statement.

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"Big Sky Wind illustrates how we will deploy our significant capital and expertise across all energy solutions to achieve this."

Vitol said it plans to invest more than $250 million in Big Sky Wind in addition to the purchase price.

Its planned upgrade of Big Sky Wind will increase the site's annual energy output by 60% by the end of 2022 and will include the installation of new wind turbines, Vitol said.

The acquisition takes Vitol's renewable generation capacity in the U.S. to more than 700 MW of wind and solar projects in operation or development.

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Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York Editing by David Goodman

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