Tag Archives: Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy Supports New Wind Wildlife Research Fund

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Berkshire Hathaway Energy, one of the leaders in wind energy production, is one of two dozen companies in the U.S. wind power industry that have signed up so far to back a new fund facilitating research that will speed development and deployment of innovative solutions related to wind and wildlife.

The news was announced at the Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel in Saint Paul, Minn., before an audience of 400 wind and wildlife researchers, regulators, conservationists, and industry leaders gathered for the national Wind Wildlife Research Meeting held every two years.

The new Wind Wildlife Research Fund will be housed within the American Wind Wildlife Institute(AWWI), an independent, nonprofit organization created by leaders in the wind industry and conservation and science communities to better understand wind energy’s risks to wildlife and create solutions.

The Wind Wildlife Research Fund currently has 28 companies participating and organizers hope to reach 35 corporate participants in 2019.

“I’m excited. This really is unprecedented,” said Kyle Boudreaux of NextEra Energy Resources and chairman of the Fund’s leadership group. “The only thing that would limit this is participation, and it’s off to a great start.”

The Wind Wildlife Research Fund continues the wind industry’s proud legacy of care for wildlife.

Increased reliance on wind power results in cleaner air, water and other environmental benefits. Even with relatively low impacts, the wind industry continues its commitment to work with conservation partners to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to wildlife and their habitats.

Industry leaders were briefed on progress in creating the Fund during the American Wind Energy Association’s Clean Energy Executive Summit in Colorado Springs. There Tristan Grimbert, CEO of EDF Renewables, and Greg Wolf, CEO Leeward Renewable Energy, celebrated AWWI’s 10th anniversary and described the new effort.

“The Fund is a tremendous step forward, and further evidence of the wind industry’s commitment to responsible wind development,” Grimbert said in Colorado. “A significant amount of important research about how to make wind energy safer for wildlife has been done since AWWI was founded in 2008, but collectively, we recognize that there is more to know, and we are pleased to support this initiative.”

The Fund will be used to directly support research projects that will advance understanding of technologies and strategies that can help reduce or avoid those interactions. Investments in the Fund will come from wind energy companies, supplemented by public funding and with support from other conservation-minded entities.

“This first-of-its-kind fund will make it possible to continue to expand wind energy development while also protecting and conserving wildlife populations,” Wolf said at the Clean Energy Executive Summit. “It speaks volumes about the wind industry’s values that so many companies have stepped up to invest in the Fund. I encourage everyone to participate, because doing so will help position wind energy to prosper and thrive in the years to come.”

Participating so far in the Fund are: American Wind Energy Association, Apex Clean Energy, Avangrid Renewables, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, Clearway Energy Group, ConnectGen, DTE Energy, Duke Energy Renewables, EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, Enel Green Power, Engie, Identiflight, Invenergy, Innogy Renewables, Leeward Energy, MAP Energy LLC, NextEra Energy Resources, NRG Systems, Pattern Energy Group, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, RES Americas, Siemens Gamesa, Southern Power, sPower, Tradewind Energy, and Tri Global Energy.

Berkshire hathaway Energy’s wind projects include the 300-megawatt Jumbo Road project near Hereford, Texas; 168-megawatt Pinyon Pines I and 132-megawatt Pinyon Pines II projects, located near Tehachapi, California; 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II project in Henry County, Illinois; 400-megawatt Grande Prairie project in Holt County, Nebraska; 72-megawatt Marshall project in Marshall County, Kansas; and 212-megawatt Walnut Ridge project in Bureau County, Illinois, which is still in development.

© 2018 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.

MidAmerican Energy Piloting Battery Storage for Its Wind Turbines

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Iowa is quickly becoming the state powered by wind, but the only problem is when the wind isn’t blowing.

Now, that problem is one step closer to a solution, as Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy is testing a commercial battery storage system with the capability of powering 900 homes for four hours.

The system is being built by Chicago-based Invenergy, one of the earliest pioneers in advanced energy storage and North America’s leading owner and operator of the transformative technology.

Invenergy specializes in large-scale advanced battery systems that instantaneously absorb and inject energy to help with grid management, while minimizing infrastructure costs. Large-scale batteries support grid reliability by regulating frequency and balancing variations in wind and solar production.

The lithium-iron phosphate system is planned to be in service by the end of December, and will be housed at a Knoxville, Iowa substation.

If the project is successful, it may see broader application storing power for MidAmerican’s thousands of wind turbines that are transforming Iowa into an alternative energy success story.

© 2018 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 and Blockchains, LLC Sign Agreement To Develop Blockchain-Powered Collaborative Energy Projects

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The CEOs of Blockchains, LLC and NV Energy have agreed to work on energy projects powered by blockchain technology. Blockchains and NV Energy’s shared vision will pilot concepts that place the customer in control of energy creation, consumption, storage and transactions.

“The goal of this collaboration is to create technology solutions that will produce customer-centric energy platforms powered by public blockchain, all with the intent of integrating approved incubations into Nevada’s energy framework,” said Jeffrey Berns, CEO of Blockchains, LLC. “These types of collaborative efforts, which return the power and control in transactions to the customer, are the very essence of blockchain technology. This partnership is only the beginning of what we have planned for Innovation Park.”

“We are thrilled to have access to Nevada-based experts in this cutting edge technology, and to be able to grow solutions that empower our customers,” said Paul Caudill, CEO of NV Energy. “We will explore a variety of out-of-the-box energy concepts to identify ways to improve the customer experience, including applications that further the use of energy storage, renewable energy and collaborative energy conservation. We are, in addition, excited about the many other undiscovered applications that public blockchain technology has the potential to make possible.”

Projects developed at Innovation Park, the home of Blockchains, LLC in Northern Nevada, could be utilized to serve NV Energy’s 1.3 million customers. Any projects incubated and ready for implementation will first be presented to, and approved by, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN).

© 2018 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.

Western Energy Imbalance Market Brings Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities $30 Million in Benefits in Q3

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Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, received almost $30 million in benefits in the 3rd quarter due to their participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market.

To date, the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) has surpassed $500 million in gross benefits, as reflected by the wholesale electricity market since its launch in November 2014.

The Western EIM third quarter 2018 benefits are the highest total for any quarter, and were driven by periods of high demand and fuel prices.

During this quarter, the market generated $100.58 million in savings, pushing the total EIM benefits to $502.31 million.

“We are very pleased that the Western EIM benefits have now surpassed half a billion dollars,” said Steve Berberich, ISO President and CEO. “This clearly illustrates the value of markets to the customers in California and the region.”

NV Energy achieved benefits of $11.09 million and PacifiCorp’s benefits were $17.82 million.

“The EIM demonstrates the value participants’ gain being able to trade in real-time during high and low price periods,” said Mark Rothleder, the ISO’s Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration. “The opportunity to buy and sell lower cost energy available from the regional EIM footprint during high load, high energy price periods really showed this last quarter.”

The EIM in the third quarter also resulted in total avoided renewable curtailment of 19,032 megawatt-hours, reducing carbon emissions in the region by 8,146 metric tons.

Since the end of 2014, the Western EIM’s state-of-the-art technology has found and delivered 734,437 megawatt-hours of renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed without the real-time, multi-state market.

The effective use of carbon free generation from the market has amounted to reducing a gross of 314,258 metric tons of CO2 from 2015 to date.

Looking forward, the market will continue to grow with the planned addition of five 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. In addition, the Public Service Company of New Mexico is seeking regulatory approval to participate in the EIM.

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.

© 2018 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.

MidAmerican Energy Places 356 MW Order for Wind XI Project in Iowa

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Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received a firm order from Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Company for 356 MW of V110-2.0 MW turbines for the Wind XI project.

The order includes supply and commissioning of the wind turbines as well as a five-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement, Vestas’ full-scope service package maximizing uptime and energy production.

The turbines will be manufactured at Vestas’ Colorado factories and delivery will begin in the second quarter 2019.

“This project will harness low-cost wind energy for MidAmerican Energy’s customers, all while enhancing the reliability and resiliency of the grid. Vestas is proud to deliver its industry-leading technology to this project that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits, including landowner lease payments, tax payments, and long-term secure jobs”, said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada.

In August 2016, The Iowa Utilities Board approved our request to invest $3.6 billion to install additional wind turbines in Iowa by year-end 2019. The project – Wind XI – is the largest economic development project in Iowa’s history.

Wind XI will generate an average of approximately $12.5 million per year in property tax payments, $18 million per year in landowner payments, and $48 million per year in state and local expenditures associated with the project.

When fully operational, the Wind XI project will ensure the utility generates approximately 90 percent of its retail energy load from wind.

The Wind XI project consists of multiple sites in Iowa that will be placed into service between 2017 and 2019.

MidAmerican Energy is the largest regulated utility owner of wind energy in the U.S.

© 2018 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.