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Pickens scraps mega windfarm

T. Boone Pickens is scrapping plans for his 1000 MW windfarm in Pampa, Texas, USA, due to lack of transmission lines, and is instead planning three to four smaller windfarms.

Originally, Pickens planned to build his own transmission line for the windfarm, but as he told the Dallas Morning News, “It was a little more complicated than we thought.”

The Public Utility Commission has a plan of building US$5 billion worth of transmission lines to bring wind power from West Texas to North Texas and the Houston area, but they will not follow the path that Pickens and his company Mesa Power LP had in mind for their mega windfarm project.

The plan was to order 687 wind turbines totalling 1000 MW from GE for about US$2 billion, with a planned expansion to 4000 MW by 2014. However, the price of natural gas, and thereby electricity prices have fallen, shrinking the incentive to invest in wind power and windfarms.

Pickens has already ordered the first round of wind turbines, and these will be delivered in the first quarter of 2011 giving Pickens 18 months to find somewhere to stick them. “I don’t have that big a garage to put them in, so I’ve got to start getting ready to use them,” he told the Dallas Morning News.

His company is currently considering six sites across Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas for three or four windfarms with 150 turbines each. The oil tycoon still plans to get to 4000 MW, although the order has not yet been placed.

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