What was to be the largest wind project in the world is to be no more, as energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens has put on hold plans to build a massive Texas panhandle wind farm.
Ready availability of cheap natural gas, a dearth of credit and a lack of transmission lines are too many hurdles for the wind farm to get past, reports the Wall Street Journal.
On Jan. 13 Pickens cut in half his $2 billion wind-turbine order with GE, from 667 units to 333. What units he decided to keep he’s sending to wind projects in Minnesota and Canada, according to WSJ.
If Texas invests in transmission lines, he said the deal may be back on the table.
The recent move stands in contrast to Pickens’ message over the past couple years — that America should go whole hog for wind energy in a bid to displace natural gas, reports the New York Times.
Despite the fact Pickens has massive natural gas holdings, he has spent up to $62 million recently on advertising and public relations of the so-called “Pickens Plan” to convince America that wind was the way to go.
He had put forth bold proclamations that Texas would become the “Saudi Arabia of wind.”
Yet Pickens never really gave up on natural gas. Just last year he was part of a tour to promote the use of natural-gas powered taxis.