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Berkshire Energy Unit May Face Challenges in Solar Bet, S&P Says

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. may face challenges after its energy unit announced that it will finance renewable projects, Standard & Poor’s said.

“The solar industry, amid falling panel prices, sluggish power consumption, and company consolidations, is cheering the announcement as evidence that solar-generation technology is attracting capital from mainstream energy players,” Anne Selting, a credit analyst for S&P, said in a statement today.

The MidAmerican Energy Holding Co. unit of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire “has built its reputation on acquiring stable, regulated integrated electric and gas utilities,” she said. MidAmerican established a new business to aid investments in unregulated renewable generation, including wind, geothermal, solar and hydroelectric projects, the company said in a Jan. 24 statement.

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