Analysis: Warren Buffett’s Power Play Puts a Price on Electric Reliability in Texas

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy wants to build 10 electric plants in Texas, for use when demand peaks or other plants falter. And it’s the first time a price tag has been attached to a remedy since last month’s deadly storm. What would it cost to make the Texas electrical grid robust enough to weather a terrible winter storm? It would cost about $8.3 billion — if the state followed a proposal from the Oracle from Omaha, Warren Buffett. This year’s winter storm killed 111 people in Texas, the Department of State Health Services said Thursday. What’s being pitched by lobbyists for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy might not be the only idea spawned by last month’s devastating statewide electrical outages, or even the best one. But it’s the first to price out the answer to a pressing question lawmakers are trying to solve in Austin: What would Texas have to do, and at what cost, to keep the lights and heat going if there’s another winter storm like the last one? The Nebraska cavalry has been working the Texas Legislature for a week and a half, according to The Texas Tribune’s Cassandra Pollock and Erin Douglas. The company’s proposal is for a Texas Emergency Power Reserve that would build 10 new natural gas-fueled power plants in the state. Those would be idle unless they were needed for times of peak demand — or when other electrical generation failed, as some did last month. It’s a slick presentation, complete with a poll and a slide deck that found Texans would pay $3 more every month to “significantly lower their risk of losing power during a winter storm.” As proposed, the new plants would be up and running by winter 2023. Click to read more at