Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Orders 258 Wind Turbines for Iowa Wind Farm
MidAmerican, a holding company that is 80% owned by Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway, will expand its wind power capacity in Iowa by almost 600 megawatts (!). This isn't quite a direct endorsement of wind power by the greatest investor of all time (at least, not in the same way that buying a 10% stake in BYD was an endorsement of advanced batteries and electric cars) because it probably wasn't his decision, but in any case it's still pretty good news for wind power in the USA.
It isn't MidAmerican's first foray into renewable energy or wind power, as it currently has 1,393 megawatts of wind generating facilities in operation. But ordering 258 Siemens 2.2-megawatt at once is a significant order, and it'll help Iowa stay a top-producing state: According to the American Wind Energy Association, "at the end of 2009, the installed capacity for wind power in Iowa was 3670 megawatts (MW), a bit more than 10% of the total wind capacity in the U.S.".
The turbines will be located in five Iowa counties next year and have a combined capacity of 593 megawatts, enough power for 190,000 homes, MidAmerican said today in a statement on its website. Fifty-two of the turbines will be at the Laurel Wind Project, a planned facility about 50 miles northeast of the state capital of Des Moines that MidAmerican will buy from RPM Access, according to the statement. The purchase price wasn't disclosed. (source)
MidAmerican wrote: "When the 593.4-megawatt expansion project is complete, nearly 36 percent of MidAmerican Energy's total generation capacity will use renewable and noncarbon energy sources."
As for "green jobs", Siemens said that it will manufacture the turbines at its factories in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Hutchinson, Kansas.