In Focus: Buffett’s Solar Bet 0

Last week, Warren Buffett purchased the largest photovoltaic project to date.  Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy Holding Co. acquired the Antelope Valley Solar Projects from SunPower Corporation for $2 billion- $2.5 billion.

Located in Los Angeles County and Kern County, the two plants of the Antelope Valley Solar Projects amount to the largest photovoltaic project worldwide:

579 Megawatts.

To give you an idea of how massive this project is, a solar panel used in residential applications might be around 230 Watts. That would mean more than 2,500,000 230 Watt solar panels.

SunPower Corporation, which has been planning the Antelope Valley Solar Projects for the last four years, will develop and operate the plants with MidAmerican.  Construction for the project begins this quarter and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.  During construction, the Antelope Valley Solar Projects are expected to create more than 650 jobs.

The low-cost renewable energy will be supplied to Southern California Edison through power purchase agreements, which will help California work towards its energy goals.

“The Antelope Valley Solar Projects mark a historic milestone for the energy industry,” says Howard Wenger of SunPower Corporation. “We are delivering highly reliable low-cost renewable energy at a very large scale. SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and SCE, recognized leaders in clean energy development, bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California and helping the state achieve its renewable portfolio requirement.”

The subsidiary of Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, MidAmerican Renewables, now holds over 1,830 megawatts of solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro assets.

The Antelope Valley Solar Projects is not only the largest photovoltaic project to date, but it underscores the viability of solar as a practical investment.

Having Warren Buffett behind a project like this is definitely a step forward for solar.

Tom Jackson

Original Article on Go Green Solar

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