Pickens drops Texas wind farm plans

July 8, 2009 at 11:36 AM
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DALLAS, July 8 (UPI) -- Billionaire U.S. oilman T. Boone Pickens says he is putting aside plans to build the world's biggest wind turbine farm in the Texas Panhandle.

Jay Rosser, a spokesman for Pickens's BP Capital Management, said the ambitious, $10 billion effort has been shelved for the time being because of a tight credit market and because electric utilities are opting to build natural gas-fired generators at a time of low gas prices, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

"Boone still remains committed and focused on developing wind energy in the United States," Rosser told the newspaper. "The timing is not as aggressive as he originally outlined because of the collapse of the capital markets and because of the steep downturn of natural gas prices."

Pickens instead will build three or four smaller-scale wind farms costing $2 billion, telling The New York Times in an interview that he is unsure at this point if he will ever be able to revive the giant wind project.

The Times said Pickens had ordered 687 large wind turbines from General Electric to be placed in the Texas wind farm, but now aims to split them up into smaller farms, possibly in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Alberta, Canada.

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