By Daniel Gross, MONEYBOX
Warren Buffett, wind-farm enthusiast. Photo by David Silverman, Getty Photos
“Last week, BHE Renewables moved to become a player in Buffett’s backyard. It announced it would start building a 400-megawatt wind farm in Holt County, Nebraska, about 180 miles northwest of Buffett’s home base of Omaha. Upon completion, OPPD has committed to buy the output of the Grand Prairie Farm, which will be the biggest in the state. That move alone will double the amount of the utility’s renewables. And . , . it will substantially change OPPD’s electricity mix by 2018: to one-third nuclear, one-third renewables, and about 31 percent coal. In the following years, as noted, OPPD says it will further reduce its reliance on coal to 15 percent by using natural gas at one of its existing plants . . . Renewable energy is no longer a luxury product—especially when someone with a low cost of capital like Warren Buffett can build massive wind farms on the prairie. OPPD notes that as a result of its plan, which will reduce its operations’ carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 50 percent by 2033, ‘rates should increase no more than 2 percent.'”
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About BHE Renewables
BHE Renewables is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 2012, BHE Renewables has invested extensively in solar, wind, geothermal and hydro projects. As a long-term owner of assets, the company’s wind projects include the 300-megawatt Jumbo Road project near Hereford, Texas; 168-megawatt Pinyon Pines I and 132-megawatt Pinyon Pines II projects, located near Tehachapi, California; 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II project in Henry County, Illinois; 400-megawatt Grande Prairie project in Holt County, Nebraska, which will begin construction in 2015; and the up to 225-megawatt Walnut Ridge project in Bureau County, Illinois, which is still in development. More information is available www.bherenewables.com.