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Billonaire T. Boone Pickens has made a fortune in the oil industry, now he plans to apply his financial skills to the wind power business.  (Source: AP)
Billonaire T. Boone Pickens bets big on wind energy

In a world that has been fossil fuel dependent for decades, many people and companies are finally realizing the financial, social, and environmental benefits of alternative energy and are going green. Alternative-energy is by no means a new idea. Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1921 "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect," and in his research he discovered how solar energy to be converted into electricity.

While solar power projects such as adhesive solar panels may be getting the majority of attention, wind power is being put to use for everything from converting salt water into drinking water to generating electricity. This concept of "going green" is so contagious that you might be surprised who decides to join the bandwagon.

Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens decided to go green by investing in alternative energy. To start out, he’s already bought 667 1.5 megawatt wind turbines from GE and plans to put them in a massive stretch of land in Texas, which could quite possibly enable the wind farm to become the world’s largest, producing power to maintain 1.3 million homes.

Pickens’ project is scheduled to start construction in 2010, spanning the Texas counties of Roberts, Gray, Hemphill and Wheeler. The massive project would encompass 200,000 acres of land and the number of active turbines could be as high as 2,000. Some of the larger turbines will put out around 2.5 megawatts of power each. Keep in mind that that each megawatt can provide energy to 250 Texas homes as stated by American Wind Energy Association’s Susan Williams Sloan.

So why is the Pickens so interested in wind power? He believes wind power to be both stable and available. He states, "The Department of Energy came out with a study in April of '07 that said we could generate 20 percent of our electricity from wind. And the wind power is -- you know, it's clean, it's renewable. It's -- you know, it's everything you want. And it's a stable supply of energy." 

What do the landowners have to say in the matter? Pickens' spokesman Mike Boswell says, "We have entered into a limited number of agreements with a limited number of landowners to put in some test towers." Boswell also states that the deal with the landowners should be finalized by the end of summer.

While it hasn't been built yet, Pickens financial expertise should get his wind farm off the ground and running. This project definitely looks like it's off to an interesting start. Will Pickens be as successful in the alternative energy industry as he was in the oil business? Only time will tell.

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RE: The real benefit...
By phxfreddy on 5/27/2008 11:37:14 PM , Rating: 4
Its ludicrous to factor in Einsteins photoelectric effect the way you did in this article.

Wind power is a dilute energy source. If you calculate it all the installed power base does not match APS's Palo Verde Nuclear plant by 1000 in terms of capacity.

Yet I heard James Cramer say 10% of American steel was going into towers for wind generators. Makes you think if we press much harder into wind power steel prices will be the limiting factor for wind in a way analogous to corn prices limiting ethanol!

I have to add that Boone is playing the business game the way he should. He sees the nonsense that passes for energy policy in terms of making drilling in ANWR off limits. He see energy is going up and that he will be able to sell all his power at a profit when soon the time arrives with higher prices.

However wind is not a good energy decision for the country. Not because of steel but because it diverts public attention from the one source that could do the heavy lift....and have you guessed it yet? It is nuclear.

There will come a day soon people will wail at the prices. And believe you me. We fill the energy gap by burning environMENTALists at the stake and driving steam turbines with the waste heat.

RE: The real benefit...
By FITCamaro on 5/28/2008 2:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
We fill the energy gap by burning environMENTALists at the stake and driving steam turbines with the waste heat.

Why wait? Al Gore alone has enough fat to burn for at least a year.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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