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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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By bighairycamel on 7/9/2009 11:13:23 AM , Rating: 4
They also like to remind everyone of 3 mile island... you know that place where not a single person was injured or killed... the place which is in full operating condition today with even better safety features...

On the other hand however, most people talkabout reprocessing waste but the vast majority of plants still buy mined because reprocessed is so much more expensive. But waste really wouldn't be much of an issue if they can ever get that damn mountain storage facility operating (which has already been built IIRC).

On a positive note, last I checked there were 2 plants waiting for approval for groundbreaking which is supposed to occur by the end of the year. There are another 27 with applications that will likely be approved by end of 2010.


RE: Why don't people research before they do things?
By Spuke on 7/9/2009 11:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
On a positive note, last I checked there were 2 plants waiting for approval for groundbreaking which is supposed to occur by the end of the year. There are another 27 with applications that will likely be approved by end of 2010.
I think there is a third coming also. According to this article 3 might it for the next ten years or there might be as many as 5.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/22/technology/nuclear...


By bighairycamel on 7/9/2009 11:42:47 AM , Rating: 2
I guess only time will tell.

But according to the NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nure... pg 45-46) there are 23 applications in the works, not 27.

There is also some good info here (note: they try to come off as impartial but seem biased towards pro-nuke but some good info nonetheless)
http://www.cnbc.com/id/26868716/


By FITCamaro on 7/9/2009 12:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
Obama closed Yucca Mountain on the premise that he supports reprocessing. I'll believe that when I see it.


RE: Why don't people research before they do things?
By JonB on 7/9/2009 3:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
Obama is supporting closure of Yucca Mtn as political payback to Harry Reed (Nevada). Harry Reed's state has collected billions during the construction of Yucca Mtn and now he wants it closed (and that will bring in even more money). All that money and no product. Its a Win-Win for Nevada. Just short sighted as hell.

The good news is that closing Yucca Mtn is quickly reversible with a change in politics. If Harry Reed loses his next re-election, it may get reopened.


By Keeir on 7/9/2009 7:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The good news is that closing Yucca Mtn is quickly reversible with a change in politics. If Harry Reed loses his next re-election, it may get reopened.


Doubt that is going to change until the people of Nevada and the United States accept that Yucca mountain repersents a very small increase in thier overall risk for the people and enviroment of Nevada. Any politician from Nevada will oppose Yucca for the forseable future, and I don't think the political will exists to force it open (as most people in the US are deathly afraid of Nuclear)


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