Friday, May 16, 2008

Earth-Shaking Clean Energy Deal: Investor Bets $2 Billion on Wind

Huge news in the renewable energy sector today:
Oil investor T. Boone Pickens' Mesa Power LLP said on Thursday it ordered 667 wind turbines from General Electric Co as part of the $2 billion first phase of a planned Texas wind farm.

It said the turbine order was the world's largest for a single-site wind power development.

The 667 turbines are capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 300,000 average U.S. homes, Mesa said in a release.

The four-phase Pampa Wind Project would be the world's largest wind energy generator, with more than 4,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 1.3 million homes, when completed in 2014, Mesa said.
OK, so let's compare the planned energy investments for Virginia and Texas:

Virginia: $1.8 billion for a 585 megawatt coal-fired facility in Wise County. Short-term jobs during construction: 800. Long-term jobs during operation: 75. Estimated increase in operation costs if carbon capture and storage becomes viable: 30-60%. Without CCS, estimated annual cost of carbon permits in 2030 for 5.4 million tons of C02: $108 million.

Texas: $2 billion for a 1,000 megawatt wind power facility. For full 4,000 megawatt facility, short-term jobs during construction: 1,500 jobs. Long-term jobs during operation: 720. Added cost of operation under climate legislation limiting carbon emissions: $0.

It's not too late to make the smart investment. Tell Gov. Kaine to make thoughtful appointments to the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board as it reviews permits for polluting facilities such as the proposed Wise County plant and the Mirant plant in Alexandria.

Cross-posted from Raising Kaine
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