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Renewables Need Big Oil To Thrive

Renewables Need Big Oil To Thrive

Despite activist critiques, the renewable…

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Warren Buffett Expands Renewables Holdings

With tax credits expiring on 31 December, Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holding’s Co. has managed to complete construction of two wind farms in California—adding another major project to its hungry operational portfolio.

The company—owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)—completed the two Pinyon Pines wind farms, with a total capacity of 300 megawatts, and brought them on line just before the last day of the year.

The wind farms will supply Southern California Edison (a subsidiary of Edison International, NYSE:EIX) with electricity under a long-term contract.

Thanks to the now-expired tax credit, wind has become the largest source of new energy capacity in the US for 2012.

Related Article: Replacing Fossil Fuels with Renewables - Part 1

Buffett has embraced wind wholeheartedly, and his company now boasts more than 1.2 gigawatts of energy assets either currently operating or under construction.

If you’re undecided about renewable energy—trust Buffett, everyone else does and his word seems to be golden these days among investors.

And Buffett’s wind investments are definitely on a roll. Earlier in December, MidAmerican Wind, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, finished another wind farm in Illinois after acquiring the project earlier in the year from Invenergy.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings’ seven main businesses earned $11.2 billion in revenues in 2011 and the conglomerate’s renewables holdings are impressive. MidAmerican Energy owns 2.3GW of wind and MidAmerican Renewables owns an additional 318MW.

Related Article: The Renewable Energy Illusion

In total, MidAmerican Energy Holdings has more than 1,830 megawatts of owned wind, geothermal, solar and hydro assets.

The first days of January 2013 also saw MidAmerican Solar—another subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables—acquire a 579-megawatt solar project in California from SunPower Corp (NASD:SPWR). This two-project combination (The Antelope Valley Solar Projects) represents the largest solar photovoltaic power development project in the world. It is expected to offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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