We didn't want to miss this story from late last week about Xcel Energy and Colorado growing Wind Energy industry. From the Denver Business Journal:
Xcel Energy Inc. is asking state regulators to add 550 megawatts worth of wind-generated power to its Colorado grid — boosting its amount of wind power by 25 percent.
If state regulators approve the request, Xcel (NYSE: XEL) will have more than 2,700 megawatts of wind power in Colorado, it said Thursday…
…“Xcel Energy set out earlier this year to determine if we could add wind capacity in an economically beneficial way, and the results of this RFP [request for proposals] show that we can,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, Xcel's local subsidiary.
“The price for this additional wind generation is as low as any wind power currently operating on our Colorado system,” he said.
The amount of wind Xcel requested, 550 megawatts, is enough to support the demands of about 137,500 homes, figuring that 1 megawatt worth of wind power can meet the demands of 250 homes.
This news from Xcel came at the same time that Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway announced that it would purchase NV Energy, Nevada's primary energy provider, for $5.6 billion. Berkshire's acquisition of NV Energy is particularly interesting given the strategy involved: Buffet has been clear that the move is about taking advantage of Nevada's vast potential for renewable energy:
Warren Buffett is investing $5.6 billion dollars in the renewable energy industry in Nevada. NV Energies, the company that supplies electricity to much of Nevada, was acquired by MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway owned by Buffett.
The casinos in Las Vegas purchase almost all of their power from NV Nevada, as do 90 percent of the state's residents. This makes it the largest utility company in the state. MidAmerican's purchase includes one gigawatt (GW) of power production in the form of renewable energy assets. These include solar, geothermal and and wind-powered energy production facilities.
The common thread here is that both Xcel and Buffet are focusing on the financial benefits of renewable energy, which the the kind of market change that could really drive growth away from traditional fossil fuel development.