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Buffett Eyes Largest Wind Power Project Ever In U.S.

Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway has proposed a plan for a renewable energy project comprising wind and solar power that would cost $3.9 billion to build.

The Wind Prime project, according to BloombergNEF analyst Ethan Zindler, stands to potentially be the single largest wind project ever built in the United States. However, Zindler told Bloomberg, there have been such massive projects before that had never gotten to the finish line, so “there’s a long way to go for this project.”

The Wind PRIME project will include over 5 GW of wind power and some 50 MW of solar power, to be built in Iowa, Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy said in a statement.

The capacity of the project would be enough to power some 600,000 households, according to Bloomberg.

“Iowa is a renewable energy leader, thanks in large part to MidAmerican Energy’s proven track record of clean energy commitments and investments that are a true competitive advantage for our state,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

“MidAmerican’s Wind PRIME is a commitment and investment on a whole new level, cementing Iowa’s clean energy leadership for many years to come.”

Related: Asian Refiners Underwhelmed By Middle Eastern Oil Prices

MidAmerican Energy said in its statement that since 2014 it had invested some $14 billion in Iowa renewable energy projects. Now, besides the $4-BILLION wind-and-solar combo, the company also plans to invest in feasibility studies on other low-carbon energy technology, including carbon capture, energy storage, and modular nuclear reactors.

Wind power is already a significant energy source in Iowa, contributing over 40 percent of the state’s total energy output in 2019. As of the same year, Iowa’s nameplate wind power capacity stood at close to 10 GW.

Wind power in Iowa is also already a big business for Berkshire Hathaway—and Buffett himself noted how wind power had made the electricity bills of the company’s customers in Iowa much lower than those for electricity supplied by competitors.

“The extraordinary differential between our rates and theirs is largely the result of our huge accomplishments in converting wind into electricity,” Buffett said back in 2020, as quoted by Forbes.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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