Oh, the irony. All-American oilman T. Boone Pickens scraps his plans for the world's biggest wind farm—a $10 billion project in Texas—and who comes in to pick up the pieces? China. The communist country is honing in on the Texas wind industry with a $1.5-billion, 36,000-acre project in West Texas. It's not quite Pickens-scale, but it is the biggest Chinese investment in U.S. renewable energy to date.
The Chinese bank-funded project will even source all 240 turbines from Chinese manufacturer A-Power Energy. When completed in 2011, the wind farm will produce enough power for 180,000 homes. In the meantime, Texans can look forward to 300 new construction jobs.
China's massive Texas project may be a sign of things to come. The country is already the world's fourth largest producer of wind power (after the U.S., Germany, and Spain), and 15 Chinese companies produce commercial turbines. A-Power, the company behind the Texas turbines, just launched last year.
Chances are, then, that we will see more Chinese investments in U.S. wind power. Texas and the Midwest have huge untapped wind resources, and if American companies don't step up, others will. But in the end, it doesn't really matter who is bankrolling our renewable energy. We should be thankful that someone is willing to pay for it.
[Via Dallas News]