We already sort of knew that former All-American oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens gave up on his plan to build the world’s biggest wind farm in the Texas panhandle. Pickens said as much this past July, citing difficulties with financing and a lack of wind energy transmission lines. Instead, Pickens claimed that he would scatter smaller wind farms across the Midwest, possibly in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Now Pickens appears to be giving up on that idea as well, halving his original order of wind turbines to just 300 GE-branded turbines. None of the turbines will go to Texas–instead, they will be installed in Minnesota and Canada, of all places.
Apparently, Pickens’ interest in wind power has dropped off even further because of a decrease in natural gas prices. The mogul believes that dirt-cheap natural gas will displace demand for other type of power plants. Pickens has long championed natural gas–recently, he’s been evangelizing about natural gas-powered vehicles.
T. Boone’s interest in natural gas is understandable, albeit shortsighted. Natural gas isn’t a renewable resource, plentiful though it may be, and alternative energy isn’t about to disappear anytime soon–thanks in part to billions in funding from the U.S. government. Not everyone has given up on Texas wind power, either. A $1.5 billion Chinese bank-funded project will see 240 turbines installed in Texas. The venture will provide enough power for 180,000 homes.