Tag Archives: Berkshire Hathaway Energy

US Solar Fund Acquires Milford Solar Project That Will Supply PacifiCorp

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

US Solar Fund plc has closed the acquisition and financing of 100% of the cash equity interests in the 128MWDC Milford Solar Project.

Construction is expected to begin immediately with full commercial operations expected before the end of 2020.

The Company first announced the acquisition on 23 July 2019, however detailed disclosure was subject to financial close.

The Project is in Beaver County, approximately six miles north of Milford, Utah. Milford is expected to be operational in late 2020 and, will sell 100% of the power and renewable energy credits generated at a fixed price for 25 years to PacifiCorp, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

PacifiCorp has contracted to sell all the renewable attributes associated with the Project to a retail customer.

PacifiCorp is a US electric power company that primarily operates regulated utilities with a service territory across the US states of Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

USF will acquire Milford from developer Longroad Energy Partners, LLC. The Longroad team has a track record of developing and financing more than 5GW of utility-scale renewable energy projects since 2004, including over 1GW in the state of Utah.

The Project will be constructed on a fixed-time and fixed-cost basis by McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest construction companies in the US with over 2.8GW of solar and energy storage projects designed, constructed or completed since 2013.

The Project will use First Solar Inc.’s high-performance Series 6 solar panels and First Solar Energy Services is expected to provide operations and maintenance services under a separate long-term contract.

Once operational, the Project will generate over 277,500 megawatt hours of electricity annually. This volume of electricity is equivalent to displacing approximately 235,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, powering 31,000 homes, or removing 51,000 cars from the road, every year.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Index AR Solutions & Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Partner on Mobile App to Simplify Source-Transfer Switch Operations for Electrical Utilities

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Index AR Solutions has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Company on an augmented reality (AR)-enabled mobile application that helps workers complete source-transfer controller operation, troubleshooting and start-up tasks with greater safety, speed and confidence. By enabling workers to visualize important steps and decision points, the newly available Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® ensures that procedures are completed fully and quickly – ultimately minimizing service delays to electrical customers and reducing the risk of utility infrastructure damage.

MidAmerican Energy Company is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, wholly-owned by Berkshire Hathaway that serves some 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is the second application development partnership between Index and MidAmerican. The two companies are also deploying a combined augmented reality (AR) and eBook training application for MidAmerican gas apprentice students that boosts engagement, knowledge retention and worker safety.

“We’re delighted to have once again partnered with a true leader in innovation such as MidAmerican Energy, as we reimagine the utility workplace of the future,” said Dan Arczynski, CEO at Index AR Solutions. “Blending advanced visualization techniques with industry best practices and the knowledge of a utility’s most skilled workers, the Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® helps workers perform intricate procedures as safely and as efficiently as possible, each and every time.”

Source-transfer controllers are sophisticated switching mechanisms used by MidAmerican and other electrical utilities to minimize power interruptions, enabling operators to quickly shift from one power source to another in the event of a problem. The devices are complex, with multiple decision trees that often require a 4-6 hour schedule for an engineer to initially set up or reset. In addition, missed or incorrect steps can result in equipment damage, injury or service delays.

By helping workers visualize specific setup steps, the Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® uses AR to address a common challenge in the electric utility industry. The app presents workers with an agreed-upon set of best practices, decision trees, and safety warnings at the exact time and place they are needed within a procedure.

The app gives a qualified electrician the confidence to safely perform troubleshooting, start-up and operational tasks with minimal errors or risk, ultimately translating into fewer service interruptions to customers and fewer incidents of costly equipment damage.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is the latest in a series of more than 40 AR and eBook product offerings from Index called SuperApps® that are tailored to address common challenges associated with an industry. Delivering the core functionality of Index’s custom-built applications, SuperApp® product development is performed in the field – in close collaboration with an initial client partner – using real-world scenarios.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is available for purchase through Index AR Solutions, with pricing and terms based on a co-marketing agreement with MidAmerican Energy Company.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

PacifiCorp Assumes Sole Ownership of Foote Creek I Wind Farm

BRK.A), (BRK.B)

PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has acquired sole ownership of the Foote Creek I wind facility, a 41.4 MW project in Carbon County, Wyoming.

PacifiCorp is now proceeding to repower the project with new turbine technology, increasing energy output by 60%.

The repowered facility will produce enough energy to meet the needs of 19,500 typical homes in PacifiCorp’s service territory. It is anticipated that the project will generate an additional $14 million in tax revenue for rural Wyoming communities over the next 30 years.

Foote Creek I was the company’s first wind facility and the first utility-scale wind project in Wyoming. The demonstration project was commissioned in 1999, with PacifiCorp and the Eugene Water & Electric Board as co-owners, and it was supported with a power purchase agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration.

“Twenty-one years ago, PacifiCorp and its partners’ development of Foote Creek I helped pave the way for utility-scale wind energy as an industry-defining demonstration project,” says Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp. “Today, this new investment in the project builds on our vision to even better harness wind energy and power the grid with increased efficiency, delivering even more low-cost renewable energy to our customers.”

PacifiCorp will remove the 68 existing 600 kW wind turbine generators originally installed between 1998 and 1999 and replace them with 13 modern turbines, supported by new foundations, energy collector circuits, switchgear and controls.

Notably, repowering in 2020 will requalify the facility for federal production tax credits, which will be passed on as savings to PacifiCorp customers. It will also reduce ongoing operating costs associated with the older turbine equipment.

The repowering is expected to extend the useful life of the facility by more than two decades, creating substantial ongoing benefits for customers. The wind turbines occupy about 1% of the land they are housed upon, thereby allowing the property to continue supporting traditional land uses, such as grazing livestock.

“Acquiring full ownership and repowering Foote Creek I provides a unique opportunity to upgrade the company’s oldest wind plant, located in one of the most favorable wind energy sites in Wyoming, applying the latest technology so that it can continue to serve our customers well into the future,” comments Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, another division of PacifiCorp.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities Saved $19.77 Million in Q2 Thanks to EIM

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Two of Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, saved a combined $19.77 million in the second quarter through the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has released its western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) 2019 second quarter benefits report that shows total savings have reached $736.26 million since the market’s launch in November 2014.

The benefits for the second quarter reached $86 million for the nine participating members, and the gross benefits for Berkshire’s NV Energy was $4.62 million and PacifiCorp was $15.15 million.

The western EIM platform automatically finds and delivers low-cost energy to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Optimizing diverse resources from a large geographic area enables more effective use of carbon-free generation besides reducing costs.

The benefits report estimates the Western EIM reduced CO2 levels by 56,897 metric tons by using surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed. Since 2015, the effective use of carbon-free generation from the market has resulted in a gross reduction of 403,546 metric tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of removing the emissions of 84,844 passenger cars driven for one year.

Looking forward, the market continues to grow with benefits anticipated to increase as other participants enter the market. Those future participants include Arizona’s Salt River Project and Seattle City Light in April 2020. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NorthWestern Energy, Turlock Irrigation District, and the Public Service Company of New Mexico are slated to begin participation in 2021. Tucson Electric Power in Arizona and Avista, which serves parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, announced plans to participate in 2022.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s CalEnergy Resources Buys Into IOG’s Southern North Sea assets

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s CalEnergy Resources Limited (“CER”) has signed a deal with Independent Oil and Gas plc (“IOG”) for a farm out of 50 percent of IOG’s Southern North Sea assets.

Highlights
• IOG has signed binding definitive agreements with CER to farm out 50 per cent of its Southern North Sea assets, comprising all of the Company’s upstream assets (except for the Harvey licences), as well as the Thames Pipeline and associated Thames Reception Facilities (the “Farm-out”).
• The consideration payable by CER comprises:
o £40 million initial cash payment
o up to £125 million by way of a development carry representing 80 per cent of the costs associated with IOG’s retained 50 per cent interest, comprising:
• up to £60 million of development costs for Phase 1
• up to £65 million of development costs for Phase 2
o £0.50/MCF royalty on CER’s interest in Goddard production above 70 BCF gross up to a cap of £9.75 million.
• CER will receive a royalty of 20.2 percent of IOG’s Phase 1 revenues up to a cap of £91 million.
• CER will have the option, within three months of the Harvey appraisal well completion, to farm in to 50 per cent of the Harvey licences in consideration for:
o £20 million additional cash payment
o an uncapped royalty of £0.95/MCF on CER’s net Harvey gas production (equivalent to £61.3 million if Harvey produces IOG’s 129 BCF Best Estimate Prospective Resources).
• IOG and CER have also signed an Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”) agreement to pursue further business development opportunities in the scope of the Thames Pipeline on a 50:50 basis.
• IOG is planning to issue a Euro-denominated Senior Secured Bond (“Bond”) of approximately £70 million to fund its share of Phase 1 costs. There is no additional external funding requirement expected for Phase 2.
• Upon Farm-out and Bond completion, IOG and CER will submit notice of Core Project Phase 1 Final Investment Decision (“FID”) to the Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”).
• IOG has also entered into agreements to repay and restructure its existing financing arrangements with London Oil and Gas (“LOG”)
• IOG will retain Operatorship of the Core Project.

The Core Project comprises 410 BCF, of 2P+2C reserves and resources across six discovered Southern North Sea (SNS) gas fields. IOG will pay CER a royalty of 20.2% of its net revenues from the Phase 1 fields only (i.e. 10.1 per cent of gross Phase 1 revenues, net of National Transmission System entry charges and applicable marketing fees), up to a cap of £91 million over field life.

In addition, IOG will receive an effective royalty interest equating to £0.50/MCF on CER’s 50 percent share of production from certain sections of the Goddard Field after 70 BCF gross has been produced from the field up to a maximum royalty of £9.75 million.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance

Vestas secures 459 MW order from Berkshire’s PacifiCorp

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Vestas has received an order for 459 MW of V136-4.2 MW turbines operating in 4.3 MW power optimised mode from PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, for two wind projects, TB Flats I and II, located in Wyoming. Including previously purchased V110-2.0 MW turbines, the projects will have a combined capacity of 503 MW.

TB Flats I and II are part of PacifiCorp’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative, a USD 3.1 billion investment to expand wind power via repowering existing projects, adding 1,150 MW of new wind resources by the end of 2020, and building a 140-mile transmission line segment in Wyoming to enable wind generation.

As part of Energy Vision 2020, Vestas and PacifiCorp previously partnered on repowering the Marengo and Marengo II wind projects in Washington, upgrading the site’s existing V80-1.8 MW turbines with V100-2.0 MW turbines.

“We’re pleased PacifiCorp has selected our V136-4.2 MW, operating in 4.3 MW power optimised mode for the TB Flats I and II projects,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada. “With their Energy Vision 2020 initiative and commitment to expanding wind energy, PacifiCorp brings both the environmental and economic benefits of low-cost, competitive, and clean wind energy to their customers and communities.”

The order includes supply and commissioning of the turbines as well as a 12-year AOM 4000 service agreement, designed to ensure optimized performance of the project. Turbine delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2020, with commissioning scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

NV Energy CEO Lauds New Nevada Bill Increasing Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 Percent

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

NV Energy officials were on hand last week as the Governor of Nevada signed into law Senate Bill 358, which increases Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030.

“NV Energy has been vocal about our aspirational goal of providing our customers with 100 percent renewable energy, and this is an important next step in accomplishing that,” said Doug Cannon, NV Energy president and CEO. “We announced our support of the renewable standard increase in 2018 and are honored to have worked closely with Governor Sisolak, Senator Chris Brooks, who was instrumental in leading this effort; and other stakeholders to accomplish this so early in the legislative session.”

The company’s 2018 announcement that it planned to add six more large-scale solar projects, three of which will include battery storage for the first time, reinforced its commitment to add more low-cost solar to its energy mix.

NV Energy also recently submitted its annually-required renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance filing to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, which stated that the company had exceeded the current RPS requirement for the ninth-straight year. Instead of the 20 percent required today, 24 percent of the energy the company provides is generated from renewable resources.

Nevada is a leader in renewable energy, ranking fourth in solar and second in geothermal.

NV Energy has fostered renewable development since before a renewable standard was put into place, having signed its first geothermal contract in 1986. Thanks to expanding renewable energy serving its customers and the retirement of coal-fueled generation in Nevada, Nevada experienced an 85 percent reduction in coal-fueled carbon emissions from 2005 to 2015.

During that same period, Nevada reduced carbon emissions from the electric industry by 44 percent.

“Our company has made great strides over the last decade to increase our use of clean energy resources and reduce our carbon footprint, all while keeping costs low for our customers. Today signifies another step in building Nevada’s a clean energy economy and we’re proud to be one of the leaders in that effort,” added Cannon.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Rocky Mountain Power Considers Early Coal Plant Closures

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s PacifiCorp is looking at early closures of some of its coal-fired generating stations.

The potential PacifiCorp coal unit closures are operated by its Rocky Mountain Power subsidiary in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.

Most of PacifiCorp’s coal units will reach the end of their depreciable lives at different points over the next 20 years.

While no resource decision will be made ahead of completion of the 2019 IRP, a PacifiCorp study identified potential benefits for customers through early retirement of some coal units.

“We continuously examine the costs and benefits of how the company generates electricity to ensure we are making the best decisions for customers,” said Rick Link, PacifiCorp vice president of resource planning and acquisitions. “The study reflects the ongoing changing economics for coal driven by market forces.”

For purposes of the study, the company examined whether customers would benefit if units are retired as early as 2022 and replaced with other resources. The timing and sequencing of any actual coal unit closures will ultimately be determined by a range of factors that also include workforce and community transition considerations.

The units the study identifies as being less economic to operate beyond 2022 than alternatives and are candidates for early retirement are:

• Naughton Units 1 and 2 in Wyoming.
• Jim Bridger Units 1 and 2 in Wyoming.

PacifiCorp is a majority owner and the operator of these units.

The company anticipates issuing a preferred portfolio for input from regulators and stakeholders before submitting a final plan to state regulators in August.

© 2019 David Mazor


Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

NV Energy Battles to Keep Large Customers

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Working to stem the tide of defections of some its largest customers, Berkshire Hathaway’s NV Energy has received approval for a new rate structure that gives lower rates to large energy users.

NV Energy says it has had an “impressive response” to its proposed “NV Energy Optional Pricing Program Rate” that allows eligible large energy users to pay a rate derived from low-cost, Nevada-based solar resources.

Twenty-six large customers from both northern and southern Nevada have formally submitted their interest in the program. The customers include several government, education and other public entities, as well as gaming companies and heavy industrial users.

The pricing option will reduce the cost most eligible commercial customers pay for electric service while NV Energy retains the renewable energy credits in order to comply with Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard for the benefit of all customers.

The company declined to provide names of interested entities to protect customer privacy, however the City of Las Vegas is likely to be one of the entities, as Tenaska, the Omaha-based power provider that a provides electric service to MGM Resorts and Caesars Resorts, has withdrawn its bid to serve the city.

The “open window period” will remain open while the company undergoes a robust documentation process to validate the first-in-time, first-in-right priority order.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities Saved $26.63 Million in Q4 2018 Thanks to EIM

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Two of Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, saved a combined $26.63 million so far this year through the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has released its western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) 2018 first-quarter benefits report that shows total savings have reached $330.52 million since the market’s launch in November 2014.

The benefits for October, November and December reached $62.57 million for the eight participating members, and the gross benefits for Berkshire’s NV Energy was $4.95 million and PacifiCorp was $$21.68 million.

The western EIM platform automatically finds and delivers low-cost energy to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Optimizing diverse resources from a large geographic area enables more effective use of carbon-free generation besides reducing costs.

The Western EIM continued in the fourth quarter to help displace less clean energy supplies by using 23,425 megawatt-hours of surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed.

Since the end of 2014, the effective use of carbon free generation from the market has amounted to reducing a gross of 324,284 metric tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of removing the emissions of 68,179 passenger cars driven for one year.

Looking forward, the market will continue to grow with the planned addition of six entities.

The Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District is set to begin participation in April 2019. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Salt River Project, and Seattle City Light will follow in April 2020. The Public Service Company of New Mexico and NorthWestern Energy will participate in the market starting April 2021.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.of future results.