United States

United States

Texas oil magnate Pickens cuts £2billion GE turbine order in half

US: Billionaire Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has halved his $2billion order for GE turbines, originally part of a plan to create the world's largest wind farm.

T Boone Pickens: cuts GE order in half
T Boone Pickens: cuts GE order in half

The magnate has cut his order for 667 GE 1.5MW to 334 while plans remain on hold for his company, Mesa Power, to build a 4GW project in the windy but lightly populated Texas Panhandle.

The Pampa wind farm was billed as the world’s largest when announced in 2008, but stalled due to falling natural gas prices, a bad economy and lack of adequate transmission.

Mesa Power scrapped plans to build its own transmission line
last summer and an ambitious $5 billion Texas-wide transmission build-out, the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (Crez) plan, is expected to push into the panhandle without providing anywhere near the required volume of wires.

The original project, touted as the world's largest wind development, was to include 2700 turbines, cost $10-12 billion, begin construction in 2010 and be completed by 2014.

The 80-year-old Pickens ordered 667 turbines from GE in the spring 2009 and in July launched a $58 million public relations campaign, the Pickens Plan, when oil cost upwards of $140 a barrel.

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