Buffett’s MidAmerican to Invest Another $280 Million in Iowa Wind Energy

MidAmerican Energy Co., which has already committed about $15 billion to renewable energy, plans to invest an additional $280 million in Iowa wind farms.

The utility owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 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 state.

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 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.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock

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