Monday, May 19, 2008

Big Oil, Meet Big Wind

I ran across this story about the largest wind turbine order ever and it struck me as big deal. The deal, worth $2 Billion will build 667 wind turbines in northern Texas and produce 1,000 Megawats of electricity.

To compare, the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Nuclear plant in Texas produces about 1,150 Megatats of electricity and cost $11 Billion in 1993. Or about $16 Billion in todays dollars. And this is just the beginning of an extended four part project that will be able to produce 4,000 Megawatts by 2014 for a grand total of $11 Billion.

But the bigger deal than all of this is who is funding it. The billionaire and conservative Oklahoma Oil man with just the right the name for the business, T. Boone Pickens, Jr. When the big players at the top start shifting their resources from the discovery and exploitation of new oil resources into projects like this they are not doing it for any environmentalist reasons, they are doing it for the money. And money is a far more effective motivator!

EDIT: A YouTube Bonus for anyone who has seen "There Will Be Blood"

EDIT II: T.Boone Pickens is a really interesting, and incredibly smart fellow. He has a May 6th 2008 interview that you can watch here. It is quite long.

Best quote on how he made $255 Million from $4 Million in a year.
What I did was for the first time I wrote down the steps to do this, as I did them. And I just kept doing those same ones over and over again. In the past when I made money I would forget how I did it.
He also talks about the future of American energy in great detail.

Ok, just one more. Boone relating a story about about the "ugliness" of wind turbines from an old man who is going to have one built on his ranch, "I tell you boon, I cant see as good as I used to, but I can see money, and those turbines look like money." Thats it, isn't it?

Of course, coming from St. Olaf I think they fit in the landscape far better than anyone gives them credit. They can be awe inspiring!

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