- Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy, a utility subsidiary of the Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE), is planning on getting up to 57% of its electricity from wind and expand its generation capabilities into utility-scale solar power plants and community shared solar arrays, according to CEO Bill Fehrman.
- BHE just signed the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge along with Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Alcoa, Cargill, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS, and Wal-Mart.
- MidAmerican has invested some $6 billion in wind energy since 2004 and has a $900 million, 552 MW project awaiting approval from Iowa regulators that would take the utility’s installed renewables capacity to over 4,000 MW by 2017 and make it possible to get to the 57% wind target.
By signing the White House’s Climate Pledge, the companies expressed support for a strong international commitment to cut GHGs at the December Paris climate negotiations, demonstrated an ongoing commitment to reduce their emissions by investing in renewables and efficiency, and set an example for other businesses.
The companies, representing over $1.3 trillion in 2014 revenue and a combined $2.5 trillion-plus market capitalization, announced investments totaling $140 billion for 1,600 MW of new renewables and new efficiency.
With MidAmerican’s wind investment, it intends to protect customers and shareholders from the costs of policies driving utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also seeks to serve key customers with sustainability goals, like Google and Microsoft, who want electricity generated from renewables to power their massive data center operations in Iowa.
MidAmerican’s turn toward utility-scale solar and community shared solar is to provide a solar choice to its commercial and residential customers at the lower cost that larger arrays allow.