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2012 Archives

Warren Watch: Solar deals


The following ran in the Dec. 18, 2011, edition of the Omaha World-Herald. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute in SMU's Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

January 11, 2012

By Steve Jordan

MidAmerican Energy Holdings' second planned solar energy investment is heartening an industry beset with problems, although observers say the two deals have special features that make them less than a total endorsement by Warren Buffett of all solar energy projects.

MidAmerican, the Des Moines-based energy division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha, is putting an undisclosed amount of money — hundreds of millions, by most estimates — into two solar energy farms being built by First Solar, an industry leader. The first deal, for a California project, is an outright purchase. The second, in Arizona, is the purchase of 49 percent of a solar farm....

"In a lot of ways, this is classic Warren Buffett," said Bruce Bullock, executive director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University. "He comes into an industry that is starving for capital investment. At the same time, this is something that also tells people it's time to take solar power seriously."...