Annalee Armstrong for SNL:
A Berkshire Hathaway Energy executive said the renewable energy industry has done exactly what President Donald Trump pledged to do during his campaign: create jobs.
Jonathan Weisgall, vice president for government relations at Berkshire Hathaway, said the wind industry has created about 100,000 jobs nationwide, with about 7,000 in Iowa alone where Berkshire Hathaway has a massive wind project underway. The company also expects to pay as much as $1.5 billion over 30 years in property taxes in Iowa.
“The message is not a renewable energy message,” Weisgall said. “What we’re doing as a company is what Donald Trump has promised, which is jobs, infrastructure and the like.”
Part of that job creation has included the manufacturing industry.
Weisgall said that 20 years ago, at least 90% of the components for wind turbines were imported. However, Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co. is currently working on the 2,000-MW Wind XI Project, which is a $3.6 billion investment in wind generation capacity in Iowa. Weisgall estimates that 90% of that project will be made up of domestic content.