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T. Boone Pickens Says Peak Oil Reached, Plans World's Largest Wind Farm

When one of Texas’s richest oil men bets big on wind energy, it gets attention. Yesterday NPR’s Living on Earth broadcast an interview with Mr. Pickens, who shared the salient facts about his planned wind project:

  • It will be the largest in the world, he reckons, at 4,000 megawatts
  • It will provide enough power for 1,300,000 homes
  • It’s a $10 billion dollar project from which he plans a 15%-25% profit

Asked why he is investing in wind now, Pickens replied:

“For a number of years I’ve watched the wind turbines develop — and I feel like it’s time for it. I think that oil has peaked at 85 million barrels in the world. We’ve got to develop other forms of energy — wind, I think solar will be next, and I hope I’m still around to be in the solar deal.” (Pickens is 80 years old.

But what if Congress doesn’t vote to extend the wind Production Tax Credit?

“Well, I think they’ll vote on it. They’ll either do that or they’ll give some kind of carbon credit because, the wind has to be developed in the United States. We’re now importing 72 percent of the oil we use every day. I think everybody can see that we’re gonna break the country if we pay 700 billion dollars a year for, uh, imported oil……I’ve got a good team of people that are knowledgeable in wind energy, and I don’t worry about it. I think it’s a good project, and it’ll do well and we’ll make money. And it’ll help the country.”

I took a look at Pickens’s bio on Wikipedia. He grew up poor but worked hard. He became a geologist in the 50’s, which “were difficult times for the oil industry and petroleum geologists.” He stuck at it and obviously his bet on oil paid off; Pickens is worth $3 billion now. But he’s moving on — to wind. Find out more about this story in the current issue of Fast Company.

T. Boone Pickens on ethanol: Which is Worse: Exporting $1 Billion Per Week or Growing Fuel?

More on Wind Power:

Image credit: www.boonepickens.com


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Written By

Carol Gulyas is a leader in the renewable energy community in Illinois, where she serves as VP of the Board of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Recently she co-founded EcoAchievers -- a provider of online education for the renewable energy and sustainable living community. She spent 18 years in the direct marketing industry in New York and Chicago, and is currently a teaching librarian at Columbia College Chicago. Carol grew up in a small town in central Indiana, then lived in the Pacific Northwest, Lima, Peru, and New York City. She is inspired by reducing energy consumption through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green building technology.

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