Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company has launched a new renewable energy subsidiary.
Dubbed MidAmerican Renewables, LLC, the new company will be based out of Des Moines, Iowa and will encompass a new set of subsidiaries: MidAmerican Wind, LLC, MidAmerican Geothermal, LLC, MidAmerican Solar, LLC, and MidAmerican Hydro, LLC.
In Tuesday's announcement, MidAmerica Energy CEO Greg Abel said, “We look forward to expanding our wind, geothermal, solar and hydro portfolio, so we can offer energy in the renewables market. We believe the need for renewable energy will continue to grow, and we are excited to be a leader in this area,” he said.
The company's actions certainly support Abel's words. In fact, there is nothing new about MidAmerican's interest or investment in renewable energy.
Since 2004 the company has invested $6 billion in wind power and claims to be the "No. 1 owner of wind-powered energy generation among U.S. rate-regulated utilities," controlling just under 1,400 MW of operational wind capacity. And the wind portfolio is growing.
Just last Friday the company said it had agreed to acquire the 81 MW Bishop Hill II wind project in Henry County, Illinois from Invengy LLC. Through its subsidiary, CalEnergy U.S. which will become part of MidAmerican Renewables, MidAmerican operates an estimated 327 MW geothermal generation in California.
However, the preamble to the formation of the new renewables subsidiary and a growing interest in the unregulated renewable energy market was MidAmerican's explosion into the solar market last December. At that time Abel said, "We are aggressively pursuing opportunities to expand our presence in the renewable energy sector."
On Dec 7, 2011 the company entered the solar pwer market by agreeing to purchase the $2 billion, 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm being constructed in California from solar developer First Solar Inc. Then, 11 days later, MidAmerican announced plans to acquire a 49% interest in the 290 MW Agua Caliente solar project in Arizona from NRG Energy Inc.
Now with a renewable energy subsidiary in place MidAmerica can continue to grow its renewable energy portfolio which, as of end of 2011, sources 28% of its total generation capacity from renewables.
Image Credit: Payton Chungvia Flickr
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