One of Berkshire Hathaway’s largest business sectors is energy. The company owns several different energy companies and provides power to thousands of homes annually throughout the West and Midwest. However, while the corporation has repeatedly urged shareholders to vote against environmental measures brought before the board, it looks like Berkshire Hathaway is making some environmentally-friendly moves on its own.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, one of Berkshire’s several energy subsidiaries, PacifiCorp, has announced a three-year, $3.5 billion plan to shift from coal dependency to renewable energy sources. States effected range from Wyoming to California, and with the move Berkshire reportedly hopes to continue its move to shut down coal plants and replace them with different, renewable energy sources.
“We began transitioning away from coal 10 years ago,” PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely told the Desert Sun of Las Vegas. “We’re certainly not investing anything to keep any (coal plants) going longer.”
The new infrastructure is being made possible by the renewable energy tax credits available to companies who make the switch. Although the credits are expected to expire in 2020, PacifiCorp’s plan goes through 2036.
With the new plan, PacifiCorp hopes to expand its wind turbines with larger blades and newer technology, and to builds some additional turbines and solar power stations in other states. The plan will increase the total megawatt output across the state and roughly double the company’s renewable energy capacity.
However, fans of coal need not worry too much as even after this planned change takes place, it is estimated that within the next decade PacifiCorp still will be generating around 48% of its power from coal.