Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) — The energy business at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which has already committed
about $15 billion to renewable power, plans to invest an
additional $280 million in Iowa wind farms.
The MidAmerican Energy Co. unit will develop a new site in
Adams County and expand another in O’Brien County next year, the
Des Moines, Iowa-based company said today in a statement. Blades
for 67 new turbines will be built at a Siemens AG plant in the
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.
“These wind projects help stabilize rates in the long term
for our customers,” MidAmerican’s Chief Executive Officer Bill
Fehrman said in the statement.
At a utility-industry conference in June, Buffett said he
wants to spend even more on clean power as the U.S. 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,” he said then. “It’s where the country’s going.”
By the end of 2015, MidAmerican will have developed about
3.5 gigawatts of wind-power capacity in Iowa, enough to power
more than 1 million homes.