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Summary:

Our favorite oil-baron-turned-wind-power-wildcatter, T. Boone Pickens, will make the first down payment this month on 500 wind turbines for his plan to build the world’s largest wind farm in Texas, says the Guardian. Over the next four years, Pickens plans to build 2,700 wind turbines that […]

Our favorite oil-baron-turned-wind-power-wildcatter, T. Boone Pickens, will make the first down payment this month on 500 wind turbines for his plan to build the world’s largest wind farm in Texas, says the Guardian. Over the next four years, Pickens plans to build 2,700 wind turbines that would supply 4,000 megawatts — enough to power 1 million homes.

It’s interesting that Pickens tells the Guardian that the wind farm will cost $10 billion to build, because we’ve previously heard figures closer to $6 billion (via the WSJ). Perhaps Pickens underestimated the cost last year. As we pointed out in February, the cost of the raw materials to build turbines, as well as demand for turbines themselves, have been lifting the upfront costs of building wind farms.


And the costs of building Texas’ transmission lines, to move the power from the farms to more populated areas, has been adding up, too. The state could spend anywhere between $2.95 billion and $6.38 billion on laying new lines, according to a recent report.

But Texas and its entrepreneurs like Pickens are willing to make the investment. The state leads the nation in wind power and is building a booming industry off of the renewable energy technology. Texas not only has large stretches of windswept rural plains, but it has the kind of regulatory atmosphere that can fast-track wind projects.

The farmers who own that windswept land can also make significant money off the farms. A New York Times story mentioned a farmer that makes $500 a month for each wind turbine on his property. Pickens tells the Guardian he’s paying $10,000 and $20,000 in annual royalties for every turbine farmers allowed on their land.

And it’s becoming a point of pride for Texas — Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, told the NYT, “We’re No. 1 in wind in the United States, and that will never change.”

Here’s more coverage of the imitable T. Boone Pickens:

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  1. Chris Morrison Monday, April 14, 2008

    No matter how many time I see this guy’s name, it never ceases to amaze and delight me. He’ll make a perfect evil alternative energy overlord.

  2. T. Boone Pickens: Kicking Off the World’s Largest Wind Farm « Wigglez Talks Monday, April 14, 2008

    [...] World’s Largest Wind Farm [...]

  3. Maybe he’s using Euro wind generators and finally figuring in the crappy USD$. That would even raise the price on imported earthworms.

  4. wpomatic test » T. Boone Pickens Rides the Wind Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    [...] Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech calls T. Boone Pickens “our favorite oil- baron- turned- wind- power- wildcatter, as he makes [...]

    • The rise in the cost of materials is affecting all energy sources (as is the simultaneous rise in the cost of fuels, although wind is fuel-free so not directly affected by that).

    • News reports on the cost of transmission lines in Texas didn’t quite capture the full story. See http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pdf/Texas_Study_Transmission.pdf for a different view.

    Regards,
    Tom Gray
    American Wind Energy Association
    http://www.awea.org
    http://www.powerofwind.org

  5. Be sure to remember your high praise for Mr. Pickens when drinking water is rationed, you are subsisting on soylent green, and the entire Midwest is a desert.

  6. T. Boone Pickens Orders $2B of Wind Turbines « Earth2Tech Thursday, May 15, 2008

    [...] Mesa Power for his Pampa Wind Project in the Texas Panhandle which Pickens aims to turn into the world’s largest wind farm generating some 4,000 megawatts of power as early as [...]

  7. Robert A. Morris Monday, May 26, 2008

    T Boon;

    I think your awesome! I also think you should look at the EBM generator at my provided web site. It will work even without wind, Go Pokes!

    Robert A. Morris

  8. Solar, Wind, and Biomass… « The Personal Journal of POTUS Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    [...] this? Well, at least the PTC will still go through Congress, luckily, so that’ll keep people like T-Boone Pickens can keep moving along on the alternative energy track. $10 billion is a small start, but all big things start in [...]

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