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Pickens's Big Wind Farm Runs Into Trouble

Remember that humongous wind farm T. Boone Pickens was set to build on the Texas Panhandle? The one that would have as much capacity as four nuclear power plants? Apparently those plans are now off.

Looks like Pickens ran into two basic problems. First, the price of natural gas has nosedived over the past year, making it harder to line up investors. But even after he leapt that hurdle, transmission was still a lingering issue (as it is with many renewable sources). Texas is plunking down $5 billion for new lines out to the Panhandle, but they aren't going exactly where Pickens wanted them. And his idea for building his own transmission lines turned out to be "a little more complicated than we thought." So now he's looking at building five or six smaller wind farms—perhaps in the Midwest.

(Via Kate Galbraith.)

--Bradford Plumer