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Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Investing $280 Million More Into Iowa Wind Farms

Warren Buffet’s energy investment vehicle MidAmerican Energy — which has already invested over $15 billion into renewable energy — will soon be investing a further $280 million into Iowa wind farms.

To be specific, the utility — which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway — is now planning to develop a new project in Adams County, Iowa, and to expand an existing one in O’Brien County.

Warren buffet

The 67 wind turbine blades needed for the projects will be sourced from a Siemens AG plant located in the state.

Bloomberg provides more info:

MidAmerican announced plans in May 2013 to spend as much as $1.9 billion on wind farms in Iowa. Berkshire’s energy unit is also backing wind power Wyoming and solar projects in California and Arizona. The investments have given Buffett, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, a way to invest large amounts of money in assets with reliable rates of return.

At a utility-industry conference in June, Buffett said he wants to spend even more on clean power as the US moves away from fossil-fuel power generation. Berkshire had a record $55.5 billion in cash at the end of June.

There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned,” Buffett stated at the time. “It’s where the country’s going.”

MidAmerican has been buying large wind projects and solar projects for years, showing Buffett is quite bullish about clean energy. However, that doesn’t mean he believes in all of the cleantech revolution talk. He has said that the widely touted “utility death spiral” from distributed solar power is bull. Big wind and big solar are more of his thing. Better that than nothing.

Altogether, by the end of next year, MidAmerican will have been responsible for the development of around 3.5 GW of wind-power capacity in Iowa — which is, roughly, enough to power over one million households. Impressive numbers, and, based on Buffet’s many comments on renewables, numbers that will likely continue growing rapidly in the coming years.

Image Credit: Buffet via Flickr CC

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James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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