Berkshire Hathaway’s Utility MidAmerican Energy Buys Solar Projects

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Utility MidAmerican Energy Buys Solar Projects
By Mark Hirschey (Work of Mark Hirschey) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWarren_Buffett_KU_Visit.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., which is controlled by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) (BRK.B), has bought two solar projects in California for $2.5 billion. After the projects are complete, they will be the largest photovoltaic installation in the world. The two projects are located in Los Angeles and Kern Counties, and they were bought from SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR).

 Berkshire Hathaway's Utility MidAmerican Energy Buys Solar Projects

It will take three years to complete the construction of the two solar projects, which will generate 579 megawatts of electricity for Southern California Edison, the utility company in the area where the plants will be located. When the projects are operating at their peak levels, they’ll generate the same amount of power that a large fossil fuel plant does. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) will operate the construction of the two projects for MidAmerican.

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Shares of SunPower Corporation are soaring on news of the deal. They were up 9 percent at the end of Wednesday trading.

Work on the two projects is expected to begin sometime this year, possibly this quarter, and the two plants are expected to begin operating by the end of 2015. SunPower has not said how much of the $2.5 billion price tag will go toward construction and how much is for the purchase of the projects.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire manager of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) (BRK.B), created his MidAmerican unit to support the solar and wind projects he has been purchasing over the past year. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. already holds the Topaz Solar Farms, a 550-megawatt project also located in California. It also holds 49 percent of another solar plant located in Arizona.

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