A subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, the source of his extreme wealth, has just bought two massive wind farms in California. The company involved is MidAmerican Wind, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
The farms are not actually operating yet; they’re expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The wind farms are to be part of the huge Alta Wind Energy Center not far outside of Los Angeles, which will become the biggest wind project in the world when completed. Back in April, the owner closed a $650 million financing deal for the two wind projects. The deal included plans to use wind turbines from Vestas-American Wind Technology.
I’m sure part of the appeal of the investment is that the two wind farms are apparently under contract with Southern California Edison out to 2035. The purchase will bring the renewable energy assests owned by MidAmerican Renewables to 1,250 megawatts of capacity. Obviously, it’s not the first time the company has bought wind power assets. It has also purchased wind farms in Iowa. The company has also invested in solar projects in California and Arizona.
The wind projects are expected to produce enough electricity for around 80,000 homes. Not bad, not bad at all. Don’t be fooled into thinking Buffett’s gone all treehuggy on us though. This is about making money. His recent investments also include the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, which apparently carries more coal than anything else. Clearly, renewable energy projects are starting to be viewed as good value investments by some of the world’s most successful investors.
Image CC licensed by Patrick Briggs: Vestas wind turbines