Last July in this column (“Energy Is in the Air“), I wrote enthusiastically about T. Boone Pickens’s plans to build the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas panhandle. Unfortunately, for a number of practical reasons that plan has been put on indefinite hold. Instead Pickens plans to build three or four smaller wind farms at a cost of about $2 billion. The major factors in the decision were the lack of transmission lines that would allow electricity created by the farm’s wind turbines to feed into the power grid and the drop in the price of natural gas, which competes with wind as a power source.
Pickens still plans to take delivery on the 687 large wind turbines he had ordered from General Electric starting in 2011. Once operational they would have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, about a quarter of the amount envisioned in his original plan.