Pickens Plans for Small Scale Texas Wind Power

Source: Andrew Herndon, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is building a 377-megawatt wind farm in Texas, three years after shelving plans for a project about ten times as big that would’ve been the world’s largest.

Mesa Power Group LLC, the Dallas-based renewable energy company Pickens created in 2007, is co-developing the Stephens Bor-Lynn wind farm with Wind Tex Energy LP, according to a statement today.

Pickens will connect the farm to a transmission line that’s due to be completed in early 2013. Mesa announced plans for the 4-gigawatt Pampa wind farm in the Texas panhandle in 2007. Two years later, it put the project on hold citing a lack of adequate power lines. The company will provide 233 1.6-megawatt General Electric Co. (GE) (GE) wind turbines purchased through a contract linked to the earlier plan.

“This is all part of the same deal,” Lindsay Theile, a GE spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail.

Mesa in 2008 agreed to buy 667 1.5-megawatt GE turbines for the Pampa project and halved the order in 2010. Mesa said later that year it would use some of the 333 turbines at projects in Minnesota and Canada.

The contract was revised again for the Stephens Bor-Lynn project, Theile said. She wouldn’t give a price for the turbines.

Equity Stake

Mesa purchased a majority equity interest in Stephens Bor- Lynn, Jay Rosser, a spokesman for Pickens’s BP Capital LLC, said by e-mail.

The project will deliver power on a transmission line being built by Wind Energy Transmission Texas LLC, a joint venture between Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM/A) and Isolux Corsan Servicios SA, according to the statement.

Wind Energy Texas is one of several developers planning to add $5 billion of transmission lines in the state by 2015 to carry wind power, according to its website.

Mesa and Wind Tex expect to receive financing in the second half of the year for Stephens Bor-Lynn, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Lubbock, Texas. It will begin producing power next year.

Mesa is seeking a buyer for the project’s power. Stephens Bor-Lynn is the company’s only Texas project, Rosser said.

Wind Tex has developed four wind farms in Texas that generate 6 percent of the state’s wind energy.

Texas has more than 10,330 megawatts of installed wind capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association, the most in the U.S.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net