Warren Buffett, the billionaire investment genius and an ardent supporter of Democratic President Barack Obama, announced this week that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, is buying the largest solar production plant in the United States through a subsidiary.
The Mid-American Energy Holding Co. is paying out nearly $2.5 billion for the Antelope Valley Solar Projects facility, previously owned by SunPower Corp. The sale creates a partnership between the two organizations, though Buffett's company will reportedly be performing renovations and personnel changes in the coming months.
According to green news source Inhabitat the 3,230-acre Antelope Valley plant is capable of producing up to 579 megawatts of electricity. Southern California Edison, an energy provider in The Golden State, has been contracted to sell the produced power. This investment adds a considerable amount of technological muscle to Berkshire Hathaway, totaling a reported 1,830 megawatts of potential resources.
In a press statement, officials from both Mid-American and SunPower praised the deal as a good investment for California citizens. One of major benefits, cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is that the Antelope Valley facility is capable of offsetting nearly 800,000 tons of of carbon dioxide emissions per year once it's fully upgraded and functioning sometime in 2016.
"The Antelope Valley Solar Projects mark a historic milestone for the energy industry," Howard Wegner, an operations president for SunPower, was quoted as saying. "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."
With big-name investors increasing their clean energy portfolios, the idea of having a comprehensive green power strategy in the United States is slowly becoming a reality.