Tag Archives: Berkshire Hathaway Energy

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.

Berkshire Utilities Rack Up Millions in Benefits as Western Energy Imbalance Market Surpasses $400 million

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Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities NV Energy and PacifiCorp racked up over $16 million in benefits in the 2nd quarter through their participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market.

In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp agreed to become the first participant in a new Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) as a way to balance electricity in-flows and out-flows on a regional basis and bring millions of dollars in benefits to participating utilities.

The Western Energy Imbalance Market total benefits have now surpassed $400 million.

For the 2nd quarter, Berkshire Hathaway’s NV Energy showed benefits of $5.34 million and Berkshire’s PacifiCorp achieved benefits of $11.67 million.

The Western EIM’s state-of-art technology automatically finds and delivers the lowest cost energy to serve more than 42 million consumers in eight western states, and extending to the border with Canada. In addition to optimizing diverse resources from a larger pool for lower costs, the EIM favors carbon-free generation, an added environmental benefit.

The market is poised to grow, with the Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District (BANC/SMUD) set to begin participating in April 2019. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Salt River Project of Phoenix, and Seattle City Light will follow in April 2020.

© 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.

PacifiCorp Receives Final Approvals for Wind Power Plan

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Berkshire Hathaway’s utility PacifiCorp has received the final two state approvals needed for its wind power plan in Wyoming and Washington.

The plan includes 1,311 MW of new wind power, repowering just over 999 MW of existing wind capacity, and the new 140-mile, 500 kilovolt (kV) Aeolus-to-Bridger/Anticline transmission line in Wyoming.

Collectively, these resources contribute to meeting the capacity need identified in PacifiCorp’s updated load-and-resource balance and are on track to be in service by the end of 2020.

Through the end of 2036, the updated preferred portfolio includes over 2,700 MW of new wind resources, 1,860 MW of new solar resources, 1,877 MW of incremental energy efficiency resources, and approximately 268 MW of direct-load control resources.

This is the first time an Integrated Resource Plan has not included new fossil-fueled generation as a least-cost, least-risk resource for PacifiCorp.

© 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.

Berkshire Hathaway Makes New Vestas Turbine Purchases

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Vestas Wind Systems A/S has received an order from Berkshire Hathaway-owned utility PacifiCorp to repower two of its wind parks in the state of Washington.

Vestas will supply 216 MW of its V100-2.0 MW turbines, excluding towers, for the Marengo and Marengo II wind farms.

The order will replace the existing V80-1.8 MW turbines at the decade-old wind farms.

“As wind technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, repowering enables Vestas and our customers to update existing projects with the latest technology to unlock even more energy production and dramatically lower operating costs, extending the lifetime benefits of these projects,” Chris Brown, president of Vestas sales and service division in the US and Canada, said.

Berkshire recently placed an order with Vestas in December 2017 for its MidAmerican Energy subsidiary. That order for 70 MW of V110-2.0 MW turbines was for its Wind XI wind farm in Iowa.

© 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 to Get into EV Charging Station Business

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Nevada, a state with lots of wide-open spaces, is looking to reduce range anxiety for electric vehicle owners.

Nevada’s Public Utility Commission has given the go ahead to NV Energy to own and operate EV charging stations.

The move is part of Nevada’s Strategic Planning Framework, which has the objective of completing an “electric highway” system serving the entire state by 2020.

NV Energy will commit $15 million to develop the charging stations.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE), Nevada Department of Transportation (NDO) and Nevada’s electric utilities are expanding the state’s charging infrastructure to support EV deployment by internally connecting the state’s urban centers and providing corridor connectivity to the surrounding region.

Phase I will build charging stations on U.S. Highway 95. This first phase connects Reno and Las Vegas and eliminates range anxiety for EV owners while also bringing business to local communities.

The first two operational charging stations on U.S. 95 are located in Valley Electric Association’s service territory, at Eddie World in Beatty and in NV Energy’s service territory, at Fox Peak Gas Station in Fallon.

Charging stations are currently under development with NDOT in Hawthorne and Tonopah.

Phase II will include U.S. Interstate 15, U.S. Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 93, and U.S. Highway 50.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are placed at cost-effective and strategic locations along the Nevada’s major transportation corridors.

Each station is comprised of a minimum of one Direct Current Fast Charger and two Level 2 Chargers. Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers can charge a vehicle in less than an hour; Level 2 chargers typically require several hours for a full charge.

© 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.

PacifiCorp Looks to Wind to Power Expanded Capacity

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PacifiCorp is looking to wind power and solar to meet future power needs, and will not be adding any new natural gas resources through the 20-year planning horizon.

This is the first time an Integrated Resource Plan has not included new fossil-fueled generation as a least-cost, least-risk resource for PacifiCorp.

The plan provides a framework for future actions that PacifiCorp will take to provide reliable and reasonably priced service for its customers through the least-cost, least-risk resource portfolio.

The plan includes 1,311 MW of new wind power, repowering just over 999 MW of existing wind capacity, and the new 140-mile, 500 kilovolt (kV) Aeolus-to-Bridger/Anticline transmission line in Wyoming.

Collectively, these resources contribute to meeting the capacity need identified in PacifiCorp’s updated load-and-resource balance and are on track to be in service by the end of 2020.

Through the end of 2036, the updated preferred portfolio includes over 2,700 MW of new wind resources, 1,860 MW of new solar resources, 1,877 MW of incremental energy efficiency resources, and approximately 268 MW of direct-load control resources.

© 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.