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Billonaire T. Boone Pickens is pulling out of the 4 GW Texas wind farm he planned to pour $10B USD into. A death-blow to the project happened when the deal to build high-power transmission lines fell through.  (Source: foxtwo)

T. Boone Pickens is instead returning his attention to natural gas, though remaining optimistic on wind power. He claims that natural gas is our nation's "only option".  (Source: Horn River News)
Billionaire says he will turn to natural gas instead

Oil baron T. Boone Pickens made headlines when he announced that he would be making a massive investment in wind power.  He had made plans for a 4 GW wind farm in Pampa, Texas a town along U.S. Highway 60 northeast of Amarillo.  The site was set to become the largest wind farm in the U.S.

However, a mere 667 turbines into the construction (likely about a sixth of the total planned turbines) Mr. Pickens is pulling out of the "green gold" project of which he has contributed $10B USD.  A deciding factor was the difficulties in securing heavy transmission lines need to link the generators to the nation's power grid.   Mr. Pickens tried to get financing for the lines, but the deal fell through.

Now he is pulling out of the project, mostly.  He states, "The capital markets have dealt us all a setback.  I am committed to 667 wind turbines and I am going to find projects for them.  I expect to continue development of the Pampa project, but not at the pace that I originally expected."

Mr. Pickens made a fortune off his venture oil and gas firm Mesa Petroleum that after initial success began gobbling up oil and natural gas companies in the 1980s.  Now it appears that Mr. Pickens is returning to his roots.  He comments that natural gas is "the only option at this point" and continues, "There's no other, there's nothing else to replace it. It's the one and only resource in America that today can replace foreign oil. It is a cleaner, abundant fuel."

Still he remains optimistic on wind power, stating, "We've got more wind than anybody else in the world, just like they have more oil.  I think that's the future of this country.  We'll get there."

President Obama's alternative energy efforts have pleased Mr. Pickens, as does a new bill which will offer tax credits for the production of alternative fuels vehicles, including cars that can run on natural gas.  In addition to introduce new tax credits the bill will require 50 percent of all new vehicles purchased or placed in service by the U.S. government by Dec. 31, 2014, to be capable of operating on compressed or liquefied natural gas.

Cheers Mr. Pickens, "We're going to now use natural gas in place of foreign oil."

Major wind and solar installations continue to gain traction in America, but the death of the Pickens project in Texas showcases the problems with America's power infrastructure.  America is suffering from a decrepit and poorly maintained power grid which not only lowers efficiencies (raising power costs) and contributes to brownouts, but also hinders alternative energy projects.  As America has expanded, the grid hasn't expanded quickly enough with it, as this project showcases.



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Business
By Narcofis on 7/9/2009 10:27:15 AM , Rating: 3
He's the perfect example of a good investor. Wind farm is set back because of the power grid. He decides to invest in Natural Gas because 50% of all cars by 2014 will be running on natural gas per legislation.

I think he's doing a great move. Think about it. Go in the natural gas and make a ton of cash right now or go for the wind farm and try to work around the grid problems.

Now he can make money short term (Natural Gas) and long term (Wind Farms)

He did not mention a complete pull out as per the title.




RE: Business
By JediJeb on 7/9/2009 10:56:33 AM , Rating: 1
Only 50% of the cars purchased by the Federal Government, so not really that many cars using Natural Gas. But if they can make it economical for the average driver to buy one that would be great.


RE: Business
By noirsoft on 7/9/2009 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen an increasing number of taxicabs and buses running on CNG as well. While it certainly won't replace normal gasoline, it is within reason to assume that a sizeable minority of vehicles will be running on CNG, thus making it a reasonable economic venture.


RE: Business
By Chaser on 7/9/2009 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
"Good investors" don't canvas the TV airways with reckless advertising campaigns and websites waving a carrot of "energy indpendence" to the nation's public that must buy a volatile resource with pricing controlled by speculators based solely upon how high they can raise it before the average American notices.


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