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Warren Buffet Invests $2B in Solar Energy

American billionaire Warren Buffet recently acquired two SunPower solar PV plant projects in Southern California—the largest in the world—at a cost of $2-2.5 billion.

This deal was struck through MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of his Berkshire Hathaway investment company.

The two Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) will be built in Kern and Los Angeles counties, and will generate 579 MW of electricity, equivalent to a large fossil power plant at peak output.

The projects will provide solar energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) under long-term power purchase contracts signed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ASVP is expected to displace 775,000 of carbon dioxide emissions per annum. That’s equivalent to taking almost three million cars off the roads throughout the plants’ 20 years of operation.

Photo Credit: Go Solar California

SunPower will build and operate the projects for MidAmerican Renewables, a division of MidAmerican Energy, and the process is expected to create 650 construction jobs.

“We are excited about these projects because they support our core business principle of environmental respect,” said Bill Fehrman, president of MidAmerican Renewables.

“We are very proud to add SunPower technology to our portfolio of projects,” he added.

This is just the next in a line of PV investments for Buffet; MidAmerican Energy also owns the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farms in California, and has a 49 percent stake in a 290 MW solar power plant in Yuma, Arizona.

Construction is expected to begin in the first part of 2013, and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2015.


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