Category Archives: Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities Save $21.25 Million in Q2 2020 Thanks to EIM

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Two of Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, saved a combined $21.25 million in Q2 2021 through the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The Western Energy Imbalance Market achieved a new record of $132.7 millionin quarterly benefits (cost savings calculated from the optimization of market and grid efficiencies).

In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp agreed to become the first participant in the Energy Imbalance Market. Berkshire’s NV Energy, which serves 2.4 million customers in Nevada, commenced participation on December 1, 2015.

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

Because of the renewable energy transfers supported by the Western EIM, there was a reduction in the need to curtail renewable energy resources during periods of oversupply. The avoided renewable energy curtailment for the quarter was 109,059 megawatt hours (MWh), resulting in a total of 1,509,114 MWh of avoided renewable energy curtailment since 2014.

In addition to the economic results, the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions reduction from avoided renewable curtailment since 2014 is 645,821 metric tons, which is equivalent to removing more than 135,700 passenger cars from the road for one year.

“During this dynamic period in the evolution of the Western energy landscape, the Western EIM has continued to gain momentum and deliver outstanding results,” said California Independent System Operator (ISO) President and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “As we drive for collaborative solutions to the challenging reliability issues that emerged from last summer and explore new approaches to governance, the ISO will continue working to help our market participants across the West realize even greater economic and environmental value.”

© 2021 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 Energy and Dominion Energy Mutually Terminate the Sale of Questar Pipeline Group

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Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Dominion Energy have agreed to terminate the planned sale of Questar Pipeline Group to Berkshire Hathaway Energy. The decision has no impact on the sale of gas transmission and storage assets to Berkshire Hathaway Energy completed in November 2020. That sale represented approximately 80% of the original transaction value.

© 2021 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’s HomeServices of America Acquires Americana Holdings

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Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America, Inc. has acquired Americana Holdings, one of the largest independently owned and operated Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchisees. With the acquisition, HomeServices of America adds nearly 3,000 sales associates in 32 offices in communities throughout Arizona, Southern Nevada, and Orange County.

Americana Holdings operates across three states as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties.

The acquisition also includes Americana Holdings’ interests in the following title and escrow companies: Legendary Title Agency (Arizona), Legendary Escrow Services (California), and Equity Title (Nevada).

With this transaction, HomeServices has nearly 46,250 real estate professionals operating in more than 900 offices across 32 states.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Americana Holdings joined the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network as an independent franchisee in 2014 and with this transaction, now joins the HomeServices’ family of wholly-owned companies.

In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties entered the Inc 5000 Hall of Fame after being named as one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies for five years. In 2018, it also was ranked No. 32 on the Swanepoel Mega 1000, a list of the largest real estate brokerages in the U.S. by sales volume.

Mark Stark, the company’s chief executive officer, has nearly 40 years of real estate experience and is among real estate’s most recognized and influential leaders. In 2020, Stark was named among the “Most Powerful People in Real Estate” in the Swanepoel Power 200. Stark, together with president and chief operating officer Gordon Miles, will continue to lead Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona, California, and Nevada Properties’ strategic planning and growth initiatives as well as manage the company’s day-to-day operations.

“Mark and Gordon, together with their team of extraordinary sales managers and agents, have built an exceptional organization and demonstrate a level of expertise and leadership that is second-to-none in the real estate business today,” said Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America and chair of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

“HomeServices is an outstanding organization,” said Stark. “When you combine the incredible strength of our people and the history of our success with Gino’s unsurpassed leadership and the spirit of innovation and the financial strength of HomeServices, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.”

“We are committed to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona, California, and Nevada Properties’ continued growth and success,” concluded Blefari. “We look forward to working with Mark and his team and are very proud to welcome them to the HomeServices family.”

The acquisition extends HomeServices’ national footprint to Nevada and further expands its presence in both Arizona and California. Now serving these areas from the HomeServices family of companies are Tucson-based Long Realty, a HomeServices company since 1999; San Diego-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (2002); Fresno-based Guarantee Real Estate (2013); and Silicon Valley-based Intero Real Estate (2014).

HomeServices is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

© 2021 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 MidAmerican Energy Hit With Lawsuit Alleging Excessive Charges During Texas Winter Storm

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A North Texas plastics company has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Services, alleging the electricity supplier passed through unauthorized fees to commercial customers with contracts marketed as fixed-rate plans.

MidAmerican supplies electricity to roughly 15,000 customers in Texas.

According to the filing in federal district court in Marshall, lead plaintiff J&M Plastics, located in Royse City northeast of Dallas, received a statement from MidAmerican in April that included eight line-item charges for “Supplemental Ancillary Services.” Those charges, assessed during the week of the February 2021 winter storm, totaled almost $54,000, more than three times the amount of the company’s typical monthly bill.

The MidAmerican contract states that the fixed-price plan includes “costs associated with line loss…all charges assessed by ERCOT…and other costs required to facilitate delivery of electricity to Customer’s Delivery Points.”

But according to the lawsuit, MidAmerican ignored the terms of its fixed-price agreement and informed customers that “MidAmerican Energy Services will not increase the energy component of your bill, however, non-energy costs such as ancillary charges billed by ERCOT and your local utility, are not fixed and are passed through on your bill.”

J&M management kept the 55,000 square foot facility heated during the storm to keep pipes from freezing but did not operate. The company employs more than 40 full-time workers and manufactures a variety of consumer products from recycled plastic.

“MidAmerican has already acknowledged that it can’t pass through these same costs to their residential and small business customers, because of the Public Utility Commission’s consumer protection regulations,” says Derek Potts of the Potts Law Firm in Houston. “But the company’s still trying to unlawfully use a statewide disaster to take advantage of and price-gouge thousands of larger commercial customers.”

“They can’t justify passing through these costs when J&M and other customers agreed to a fixed-price electricity plan, which specifically includes any ancillary and ERCOT-assessed charges,” says Potts.

The lawsuit alleges violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, among other claims for breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation.

The lawsuit is J&M Plastics, Inc. v. MidAmerican Energy Services, Case No.2:21-cv-00206, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall.

© 2021 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 a 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 Renewables Acquires Iowa Wind Farm

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BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has completed the acquisition of the 54-megawatt Independence wind energy project from RPM Access LLC, a small regional developer of utility grade wind generation projects in the Midwest.

Located near Ryan, Iowa, the project consists of 18 GE 2.8-megawatt wind turbines and two GE 2.3-megawatt wind turbines and will be completed in fourth quarter 2021. The project will serve Central Iowa Power Cooperative under a 20-year power purchase agreement signed in 2020 by RPM Access.

“The addition of the Independence wind project grows our wind energy portfolio to 1,719 megawatts and provides another opportunity for us to meet the growing demand for energy generated from renewable resources,” said Alicia Knapp, president and CEO of BHE Renewables. “We are excited about this project and look forward to finding more opportunities to own and operate renewable energy resources that support a cleaner energy future.”

BHE Renewables other 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; 212-megawatt Walnut Ridge project in Bureau County, Illinois; and the 300-megawatt Santa Rita wind project in Reagan and Irion counties in west-central Texas.

© 2021 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 a 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’s JAX LNG to Triple Production Capability and Double Storage Capacity

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Berkshire Hathaway’s JAX LNG is expanding its natural gas production and storage facility at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in Jacksonville, Florida.

JAX LNG, a joint-venture between Berkshire Hathaway’s Pivotal LNG and its partner NorthStar HoldCo Energy, LLC, are expanding JAX LNG and building a 5,400 cubic meter LNG articulated tug barge unit, the Clean Canaveral.

Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of BHE GT&S, and NorthStar, are tripling the facility’s production capability to 360,000 gallons per day and doubling LNG storage capacity to four million gallons.

“With the excellent support we have from our construction contractors, we are excited to commence our expanded operations, particularly for our new anchor customer beginning its LNG-powered voyages in 2022,” said Tim Casey Senior Vice President – LNG for NorthStar. “The expansion of JAX LNG and the construction of the Clean Canaveral will allow us to supply our existing customers, take on new customers and deliver LNG to points anywhere from Savannah, Georgia to Miami, Florida. The market for LNG as a bunker fuel is accelerating as more LNG powered ships are put into service. JAX LNG and Polaris New Energy are prepared to support the shipping industry’s important effort to reduce its carbon footprint by using LNG, an environmentally friendly fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 percent.”

The JAX LNG facility has been in service since the fourth quarter of 2018 and, through its integrated LNG marine loading dock, JAX LNG has safely completed more than 150 deliveries of LNG to the Clean Jacksonville bunker barge.

JAX LNG has also been servicing additional customers in the shipping, over-the-road trucking and aerospace segments.

About JAX LNG

JAX LNG, LLC is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway’s Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of BHE GT&S, and NorthStar Midstream, operating a 120,000 gallon per day LNG plant with 2 million gallons of storage in Jacksonville, FL. The LNG facility was constructed to bring liquefied natural gas to the southeast U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Berkshire Hathaway acquired its stake in the facility as part of its $9.7 billion acquisition of Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business in 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

World’s Largest Car Carrier Powered by Liquefied Natural Gas Refuels at Berkshire Hathaway’s JAX LNG

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Berkshire Hathaway’s JAX LNG and TOTE Services recently completed their first ship-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering of a foreign-flagged vessel at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT).

Crews loaded 1,800 m3 (~450,000 gallons) of LNG from North America’s first LNG bunker barge, the Clean Jacksonville, to the LNG-powered vehicle carrier, Siem Confucius, at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.

In preparation for the bunkering, JAX LNG worked closely with TOTE Services to utilize the Clean Jacksonville while also gaining acceptance from the U.S. Coast Guard to perform the bunkering during all potential cargo loading conditions.

After loading at the JAX LNG facility, the Clean Jacksonville maneuvered alongside Siem Confucius to perform the milestone fuel transfer.

The 7,500-car-capacity Siem Confucius and its sister ship, Siem Aristotle, are Liberian-Registered and regularly call on JAXPORT to unload factory-new Volkswagen Group of America cars and SUVs.

“Our modern and eco-friendly fleet helps reduce emissions while maximizing efficiency,” said Siem Car Carriers President Jeffrey Campbell. “We are thrilled to partner with other pioneers in the environmental conservation movement, including Volkswagen, JAX LNG, TOTE Services, and JAXPORT, to reduce emissions while providing world-class service to the industry.”

TOTE Services operates the Clean Jacksonville and has successfully performed more than 150 bunkering events for TOTE’s Marlin class vessels, the world’s first LNG-powered container ships.

“This commercial bunkering is a major milestone for TOTE Services and a significant step toward supporting clean fueled vessels operating around the world,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon. “TOTE Services’ significant experience with LNG – combined with our technical expertise and commitment to safety – allows us to assist other customers adopting use of the cleanest, most readily available fuel for shipping today and into the future.”

“Some of the world’s most eco-friendly ships call JAXPORT thanks to the innovation and vision of our customers and port partners,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “Jacksonville is a global leader in the use of LNG and we are proud to support the continued growth of LNG in the maritime industry and beyond.”

“We are delighted to have earned the trust and confidence of Siem Car Carriers to offer our LNG bunker service during the Siem Confucius recent call on JAXPORT,” said Roger Williams of BHE GT&S, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company and joint partner and operator of JAX LNG. “By using the Clean Jacksonville, JAX LNG is leveraging the investment and expertise of our extraordinary partner- TOTE Services.”

Berkshire hathaway and JAX LNG

JAX LNG, LLC is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway’s Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of BHE GT&S, and NorthStar Midstream, operating a 120,000 gallon per day LNG plant with 2 million gallons of storage in Jacksonville, Florida.

The LNG facility was constructed to bring liquefied natural gas to the southeast U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Berkshire Hathaway acquired its stake in the facility as part of its $9.7 billion acquisition of Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business in 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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 to Take Over Major Stake in North Sea Gas Project

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Berkshire Hathaway looks to be one of the beneficiaries of the withdrawal of Dana Petroleum from a major North Sea gas project called Platypus.

The Playtpus project has been estimated to have mid-case recoverable reserves of 105 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Currently, CalEnergy Resources, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has a 26% stake in the project, and Parkmead Group has a 15% stake. Both companies would assume Dana’s interest, with Parkmead Group taking over the role of operator from Dana.

Dana Petroleum is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea National Oil Corporation.

Berkshire Hathaway recently increased its natural gas distribution holdings in the U.S. with its acquisition of Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business.

CalEnergy, and its predecessor companies, have been active in oil and gas since the 1970s, and engages in exploration through appraisal, development, production and pipeline operations.

© 2021 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.

BHE Canada Signs Contract With Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to Provide 26 Wind Turbines for Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Power Project

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BHE Canada has signed a contract with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to provide 26 5.0 megawatt wind turbines for the proposed Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Power Project in southeast Alberta.

“Siemens Gamesa has extensive experience in Canada’s renewable energy industry, and this project takes the company’s total fleet to 3.5 gigawatts of installed energy capacity in the country,” said William Christensen, Vice President Corporate Development of BHE Canada.

The wind project and the associated transmission connection was approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) on September 9, 2020. On November 16, 2020, BHE Canada filed for an amendment with the AUC to incorporate the use of the SGRE turbines.

The Rattlesnake Ridge Wind Power Project is being privately financed by BHE Canada through a combination of equity and debt and requires no government subsidies or tax incentives to support its operation.

The project is expected to provide approximately 150 jobs at peak construction during the approximately 18-month schedule. Construction activities are ongoing, with almost $12 million already invested in local Alberta contractors and suppliers. Total investment in the County of Forty Mile is expected to be approximately $56 million.

In addition to energy, the project will bring local landowner royalties boosting rural incomes and re-invested by landowners in their farms and their communities. There will be substantial increased tax revenue to the County, potentially reducing the tax assessment across the entire County. Preliminary estimates for tax revenue are in the $1 million to $2 million range per year.

BHE Canada has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with a large Canadian corporate partner for approximately two-thirds of the energy output from the Rattlesnake Ridge Wind project. BHE Canada continues to negotiate with potential partners for the remaining one-third. The more than $200 million project is scheduled to be in service in early 2022.

© 2020 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 Energy Completes Acquisition of Majority of Dominion Energy’s Gas Transmission and Storage Business

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Berkshire Hathaway Energy has completed the purchase of Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business, exclusive of Questar Pipeline Group.

The transaction consideration was $8 billion, including approximately $2.7 billion in cash (subject to certain adjustments) and the assumption of approximately $5.3 billion in debt.

The completed transaction also included the acquisition of 25% of Cove Point LNG – an LNG export, import and storage facility in Maryland that Berkshire Hathaway Energy will now operate. The transaction received antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act from the Federal Trade Commission in October 2020, and approval to transfer existing licenses from the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Energy earlier this year.

“We are pleased to welcome the natural gas transmission and storage business and its employees to Berkshire Hathaway Energy,” said Greg Abel, Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman, non-insurance operations, and Berkshire Hathaway Energy chairman. “With shared values and priorities, the business is a great fit within our organization and will play an important role in our long-term plan to deliver clean, low-cost and sustainable energy solutions to customers and communities.”

On July 5, 2020, Berkshire Hathaway Energy announced it had reached an agreement to acquire substantially all of Dominion Energy’s gas transmission and storage operating segment assets. On September 30, 2020, Dominion Energy announced a dual-phase closing for the transaction as a result of updated timing expectations for receipt of the antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission related exclusively to the sale of Questar Pipeline Group.

On October 5, 2020, the companies entered into a second agreement providing for Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s purchase of Questar Pipeline Group from Dominion Energy Questar Corporation. The second transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in early 2021.

© 2020 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.