$2 Billion Wind Turbine Order Is Largest Ever

wind-turbine-construction.jpg

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens has placed an the largest ever order for wind turbines: he ordered 667 wind turbines from GE, each costing $3 million dollars, making the total order $2 billion. Pickens plans to develop the world’s largest wind farm in the panhandle of Texas.

The $2 billion order is just one quarter of the total amount he plans to purchase. Once built, the wind farm would have the capacity to supply power to over 1,200,000 homes in North Texas. Each turbine will produce 1.5 megawatts of electricity. The first phase of the project will produce 1,000 megawatts, enough energy to power 300,000 homes. GE will begin delivering the turbines in 2010, and current plans call for the project to start producing power in 2011.Ultimately, Picken’s company, Mesa Power, plans to have enough turbines to produce 4,000 megawatts of energy, the overall project is expected to cost $10 billion and be completed in 2014.

GE 1.5 Megawatt Wind Turbine

Mesa Power has leased sparsely populated land in the Texas panhandle, where the wind often blows during daylight hours when energy needs are highest. Texas’ Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) transmission lines will deliver what Pickens hopes will be “cost effective and reliable electricity generated by renewable energy power projects.”

Comments

  1. Will says

    I am surprised that they are using 1.5MW plants. I thought that larger turbines = less capital and maintenance costs per MW, and there are now 5,6, even 7MW plants available. Perhaps the problem is simply supply?

  2. says

    Well there is room to grow
    How is it now for 30 years we knew that oil was in limited supply , that opec was an organization that not only abusive but even hated us
    Yet successive administrations did nothing
    The execs of american car companies marketed big old trucks loaded with options as “SUVs” and nothing has happened until now ?

  3. says

    timing is right.. public is more concerned with paying for gas than environmental concerns and NIMBY issues. Big tax incentives for investors offer immediate returns (at taxpayer expense), gas has energy costs so high that people will now pay for what was previously more expensive forms of power.

    Timing is everything…. there were big wind projects in Kalifornia back in the 70’s to.. investors seldom made their money back.

  4. Pat Logos says

    aaah capitalism…ownership of earth and water…and oh yes…wind…

    because some rich greedy bastard should be allowed to gouge for breeze spun energy as long as he has the money to harness it…

    or should he? could we perhaps make our own windmills?

    Check this guy out…very clever…
    http://www.pangeaday.org/filmDetail.php?id=47

  5. Andrew says

    4000MW/667 = 6MW per turbine

    4000MW = 4000000KW
    4000000KW x 24 hours x 365 days x 80% capacity = 28032000000KWh sellable energy per year.

    28032000000KWh x 0.05/kWh =
    $1,401,600,000.00 revenue per year

    Sounds like a good investment.

  6. daniel giancola says

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see this effort Mr. Pickens. We need this, and we need it yesterday. I know that Richard Branson is stepping up to the plate and enacting change. Government is to slow to change, and we need it now. Hopefully if you can get your buddies on board, we can continue to move this direction. I spoke directly with an engineer from Applied materials, and he told me that if you put out a 400 X 400 square mile solar array, maybe next to the ones that exist east of california, it could supply all of our energy needs, and be done for less of a cost than the current war with Iraq. We can be completely fossil free today. It’s just the money. Only money that holds us back.

  7. Manny says

    Pat, no one is stopping you from building your own windmill and using the electricity for your own needs or (perish the thought) selling it to your neighbors and then using those profits to build yourself a second one. and so on…

  8. bewhyareohin says

    God knows the wind blows through the Amarillo area, Mr. T (as I like to call him) is on to something!

  9. John says

    So would anything make pat logos happy? Perhaps if magic vegan fairies crapped energy out and gave it away free starting with the poorest of the poor and then working his way up.

    God forbid someone actually use sustainable energy! Oh and it costs money oh noes!

  10. says

    Wonderful news reported with wonderful photographs! It’s very refreshing to read that wise, successful members of the business community are coming to realize that there are greenbacks to be made in green commerce.

  11. Eric says

    The profit motive will be the driving force that moves us off of oil. As alternative energy sources become more efficient and less expensive, profit driven people will invest in them and eventually their investments will reduce the cost of these technologies down enough that the average Joe can afford it.

    Pat, capitalism will save us. Capitalism makes these technologies cheaper. Capitalism creates the incentive for this guy to do what he is doing.

  12. Jason Benne says

    @Andrew

    Just looked at my electricity bill and im being charged at .01 per KWH (Located in Tulsa, OK) For anyone to buy power from him he will need to stay around that number, putting your numbers closer to 20% of what they are.

  13. Doug says

    @Jason Benne
    And then there’s my utility bill, where my marginal cost of electicity is about US$0.36. Yay, California.

  14. Rene says

    City Hall will keep the vast number of americans from generating their own power. There are few, if any, municipalities that will allow you to set up a windmill. It’s not just money that’s needed. We need an entire generation of savvy people to take over the positions of power and force the petroleum-types out.

  15. Jeremy Goode says

    I guess T Boone thinks this might make up for selling off the panhandles water supply, are we just supposed to forget. unbelievable…

  16. James Latta says

    $3 million for each 1.5 megaW turbine.

    1.5 megaW x 1,000 = 1,500 kW

    1,500 kW x 365 days/year x 24 hours/day x 20% capacity factor = 2,628,000 kWhr per year

    $3 million x 7.5% interest = $225,000/year
    $3 million / 20 year straight-line depreciation = $150,000/year

    Interest + depreciation = $375,000/year

    $375,000/year / 2,628,000 kWhr per year = 14.27 cents per kWhr

    Average cost for electricity from all US nuclear power plants in 2005 = 1.95 cents/kWhr

    This wind power cost does not include land acquisition cost, erection cost, cost of building power lines, operating cost, maintenance cost, insurance, SG&A expenses, and profit.

    I wonder what’s going on here? Government subsidies? T.Boone is getting pretty old, has more money than he can spend and maybe just wants to leave a legacy? Or just wants to have some fun? Always admired him. He’s a doer

  17. says

    @James Latta…your math is way off I think.

    “1.5 megaW x 1,000 = 1,500 kW”

    actually a mega watt is 1,000 kilowatts, or 1 million watts (hence “mega”)

    as I see it, if this person can actually supply consistent power to 1.2 million people at an average of 150 per month each person, that will get him his principle investment back in 1 year. Say it even takes 5 years. If the turbines last 10 years, he doubles his money.

    Now before you run off and spend 10,000 on a small windmill in your yard, as I understand it the profit margins sink tremendously if you spend under 1-3 million per windmill.

    You can make more money if you hook a small bank of windmills up to a small bank of servers, then sell the server space as “green” and charge a premium for it.

  18. Paolo says

    E’ la prima volta che vedo una foto da “dentro” di una pala eolica. L’oggetto blu che si vede steso,viene costruito in Italia, di solito,dove lavoro, è un riduttore di giri. Solo per montarlo,richiede due buone giornate di lavoro,ad un paio di persone. Sorry for my script, but i know english a bit bit.This article is very interesting. P.s. Add : the price of gas in Italy is 0,95 dollar for litre. Long life to all.

  19. W Jane says

    Initially let me say that T. Boone Pickens is a bright man with great pride in this country (and good business sense).

    First, there are indeed now 5+ MW turbines, but most are newly developed. Thus, the reliability and overall efficiency of these turbines is not known.

    Second, many of these large turbines are made for offshore use not onshore. The typical size for onshore is 1.5 MW to 2.5 MW, with the GE 1.5 MW being the most common turbine in the US market.

    Third, the most important selection parameter is not size of the turbine. It is suitability of the turbine for site conditions (or turbine class) and overall capacity factor of the turbine (net production divided by installed production capacity). The capacity factor will be turbine and site dependent, but typically runs at approximately 30-35% in Texas.

    Also, for the economic discussion; please, remember that when looking at the overall cost of the wind plant you must factor in the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and other incentives. If you are interested in renewable energy incentive and policy take a look at http://www.dsireusa.org.

  20. MartianMaggot says

    Nuclear power is a huge blow; Great Britian invested in it and is now going to have an energy collapse due to their demise and failure rate.

    Wind power IS cheaper than fossil fuels currently; when production lines and perfecting the efficiency happens in the next few years; you will see every farm bordered with turbines…wind provides more revenue than most crops and the farmers can still grow their corn. T. Boone is a dangerous man, however since he hasn’t told you he intends to suck Texas for all the water with his wind power. Watch and see as he sells his cheap wind, and becomes the next water Barron. And yes, Texans should live in mud huts and be forced to knit sweaters for the rest of the US for 20 years; they created the worst president in history George W. Bush.

  21. Mr. Texas says

    Bush heralds from the Northeast. So to all the whining liberals saying Texans should pay, perhaps you should study up and reconsider.

    If we should pay for anything it’s LBJ. Vietnam…entitlement programs that weren’t sustainable…his cowardly handling of the Civil Rights movement. Although, he was a Democrat, so it’s doubtful you’d be nearly as ready as a Texan is to admit how much he fouled up.

  22. T-Bob says

    The guy with the nuke power needs to figure in the colateral costs as well and they are huge. They are security, disposal of waste, … .

  23. Anonymous says

    This is why Texas is falling behind. They could do better but do not. And the individual making this purchase is an Oil Man, which equals NO EDUCATION. There you have it.

  24. Jorge says

    This is “mucho bueno” finally an american with “big cojones” is going to do it.
    Go mister “T. Boone Pickens “. Show the world why America is “numero uno”.

  25. Ecohappidude3 says

    Dudes, we all need to stop talking and get working, if we don’t we will all die. Over time the species we have killed brutally will cause others to die and end all food for earth, plants and all, including us.
    !!!!!!!!!wind farms are the way to go!

  26. Isaac Kepler/Advanced Designs, Inc says

    Well I’ve heard ole T. Boone Pickens has started to get a taste of the Great ‘Propeller Tower’ swindle and all the hidden ‘problems that are inherent to Propeller Towers. Just try to find the real all inclusive cost of any wind farm project. The “Prop” in ‘Propeller’ is the Government incentives, credits and subsidies to ‘Prop’ up the speculative investment market with outright evasion and cover-up. Trying to railroad the Propeller Tower concept down the consumer/taxpayer’s throat is getting bad. The GREEN energy initiative is fast becoming the GREED initiative. Check out the investment hype on “The 4 fastest growing Wind Stocks on Wall Street” then check the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s ‘Innovation & Invention’ page stating since 2007, “there are no funds available’ and “there are no solicitations open at this time or in the expected future” but you can find GE and other major Windmill corporates with funded and co-funded R & D to keep on trying to beat that dreaming old Propeller Tower into working as it should and if they only produce half their predicted output, they can come back and put up twice as many more. But, the catch is the consumer / taxpayer is inevietably expected to fund and cover all those credits and all that spending too! If this even comes close to a straightforward deal, where’s the transparancy on the bottom line? Just try to find actual all inclusive costs for any of these Wind Power projects. That is the R & D,( both Government and Corporate funds), the manufacturing cost, (both Government & Corporate funded), the total delivery, installation, and hook-up costs(both Government and Private funding). the connectivity and inversion station costs(both Government and Private funded), the conventional power plant for back-up and grid maintenence on & off line feed , monitor and phase control contracts for full operational duration of 30 year average (corpoate and local Government funded) the compounded financing interests for the operational expectancy of the project(local & state Government Bonds and Corporate and Private Capital), the insurance policies throughout the operational duration for all risks with clauses for increases( state and local excise taxes and consumer surcharges), the routine maintenence costs and replacement parts and unit costs beyond all warrantees and prorated per part guarantees subject to increases unspecified at this time( paid by taxpayer/ consumer through regular payment with regular incremental increases depending on sustained ownership, solvency and ditribution costs of term per regulatory allowance)
    So then what about land use leases, ownership, and heaven forbid, ‘Property Taxes’ once waiver is inevietably reneged? Does that begin to look like a new modern version of your electric or utilities bill multiplied by 12 how many times then by 30? So why the lies, ommisions, and secrecy when you try to find out what its really going to cost? Well, we forgot to add in all the middle man costs and profits? We can’t really afford to keep on ignoring lesser cost more efficient and endurable designs to utilize wind power. Just a little research and common sense says “…gee, when I stick just one finger out the car window at 60 miles an hour, I can barely feel it, but when I cup my hand and stick it out, I can really feel some force…duh! So why “no funds available” for true ‘Alternative Wind Energy Resrarch & Development from our very own Dept of Energy? Your guess on whose pockets have monopolized on that funnel are as good as mine, know any well funded “BIG WIND” Corporates out there lately? Well, there’s truely and surely much more cost effective and efficient ways to get electricity from wind, but that’s not what the promotors are after, they want BIG PROFITS. Thats what all the GREED Energy hype and hoodoo has been about since they couldn’t use their “PROP”ellers for airplanes as much since JEt turbines and there wasn’t enough speculative opportunity in helicopters, they decided to use the PROPellers to suck for their big bucks. Remember the recent foible, “…it’s TOO BIG TO FAIL. Be wise, demand development of True Turbine vertical axis wind generators if we really need Wind Power. Less cost , less problems, less corruption, they go with the flow, its naturally more compatible, in science, politics, your pockets, your ears, and your wallet. Don’t let the BIG WIND crooks blow any more in your ear and then shrug and give you BIG EXCUSES for what they did with your BIG BUCKS, Demand that Government research real Wind Dynamics and economics, its vertical like an honest hand shake.

  27. says

    The problem I see is if eventually he plans to have over 2500 Turbines. He will have to employ quite a few service guys to keep them running. Unlike Solar, Wind turbines are mechanical and need maintanence. So I see this creating quite a few jobs. I wish he would build fewer turbines and just use larger ones. Also why not the vertical axis turbines? I hear the Chinese have created one that makes over 1 GW of power.

  28. top secret says

    the fact that people are just talking and not taking any action within these project. is a serious problem. istead of just talking about lowering ghg emmission why don’t we actually do it. the trick to lowering ghg is to actually put time, energy and money into the projects. if they are reliable. people don’t realied that the problem of ghg is always increasing even as i type this. why not stop talking and start taking actions.

    i would look at this like a fight. a fight that the world has to take. when in a fight the person which takes the first action. usally wins

    action creates the future. words are almost. nothing.

  29. says

    I think that instead of trying to jump on fear of global warming and the rising costs of fossil fuesl we should make these alternative energy sources way cheeper. I think you should be slayed if you are trying to make energy efficient products just to make as much money as possible. You should do it as cheap as possible for the good of humanity, not for the good of your pocket book. The cost is disgusting. The only good thing is the effort to help the world. Everything else is pure human greed. Nothing more. Stop Preying on peoples emotions just to get little green peices of paper that people are killing and dying for. Pure and utter disgust is what you people are aboout. You are why our troops are dying and our streets are running poor. I hope you sleep well with the blood from greed on your hands.

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