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United States

AWEA 2018: MidAmerican 'hustling' ahead of PTC phase-out

UNITED STATES: The new CEO of developer-utility MidAmerican Energy, Adam Wright, told delegates at Windpower 2018 in Chicago (7-10 May) the firm is trying to capture as many projects it can before the Production Tax Credit is phased out.

MidAmerican Energy's Adam Wright (left) speaks to AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan at Windpower 2018 (pic: AWEA)
MidAmerican Energy's Adam Wright (left) speaks to AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan at Windpower 2018 (pic: AWEA)

Wright, appointed to the role in January after starting as an intern at the company, said "We're hustling because of the phase down". 

MidAmerican has set the target of generating more renewable energy than its customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota use by 2021. 

He said the firm — a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway — wants to create a buffer between generation and consumption so it can stay on target as it gains more customers. 

"Once we've reached that target, we're not going to step back," he told AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan at the opening session of day two of Windpower 2018 in Chicago. 

Wright believes new wind projects can be succesful at 80% of the PTC value, while some repowering sites can work at 60% as the credit is phase out by 2021. 

"There will be a little bit of a dip [in installations after 2021] but the industry will figure it out and come back," Wright told the conference. 

He also said, currently, storage solutions "are not economical" for MidAmerican but believes at some point in the future, they will be.

"We are truly limited by our imagination. We can do whatever we put out minds to. Let's fall in love with the vision of energy storage and the industry will figure it out," he said.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) will hold its Windpower 2018 conference and exhibition in Chicago (7-10 May). Windpower Monthly will bring all of the coverage from the show across the week. 

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