Pickens exits Minnesota project for undisc fee

UNITED STATES: Mesa Power, the company owned by billionaire Texas oil tycoon T Boone Pickens, has sold its share in a 78MW Minnesota project.

T Boone Pickens... exiting Goodhue wind farm

The Goodhue project has been sold to Peter Mastic, the former CEO of National Wind, which was a co-developer of the wind farm. Mastic left National Wind in July, prior to its takeover by Indian-owned Trishe Wind.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The wind farm has now been renamed as the New Era wind farm, and Mastic said he intends to progress the project even if the government fails to renew the PTC.

For months there have been reports that Pickens was looking to offload the project, which has been at the subject of protests by some local residents. Additionally, an environmental permit is still pending.

The project has been seeking state approval since 2008 - dividing Goodhue County opinion over turbine setback distances, road-use agreements, wildlife protection, permitting issues and disputed contracts. In late April, Mesa's development vehicle AWA Goodhue Wind filed a lawsuit against a handful of landowners, alleging illegal termination of their leases.

In mid-May, Dan Schleck, a lawyer representing the Coalition for Sensible Siting (CSS), a citizens group opposed to the development, issued a press release describing a private meeting of local investors who believe that Pickens wants out of the project.