Mesa Power Places World's Largest Single-Site Wind Turbine Purchase Order Purchase is step one in T. Boone Pickens' plans to build world's largest

wind farm near Pampa, Texas



    DALLAS, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Mesa Power LLP, a company created by
 legendary energy executive T. Boone Pickens, has placed an order with
 General Electric to purchase 667 wind turbines capable of generating 1,000
 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 300,000 average U.S.
 homes.
 
     The agreement represents the first phase of the four-phase Pampa Wind
 Project that will become the world's largest wind energy project, with more
 than 4,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 1.3 million homes. When all
 phases of the project are completed as projected in 2014, the wind farm
 will be five times as big as the nation's current largest wind power
 project, now producing 736 megawatts.
 
     Pickens said he expects that first phase of the project will cost about
 $2 billion, and that electricity from the project will be on-line by early
 2011. When complete, the Pampa Wind Project will cover some 400,000 acres
 in the Texas Panhandle.
 
     "T. Boone Pickens' commitment underscores the ability of wind
 technology to help meet the country's need for diverse sources of energy,"
 said Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE Chairman and CEO. "As America's demand for
 energy escalates, it is clear that wind can and will play a bigger part in
 meeting that need. We're excited to partner with an energy visionary like
 T. Boone Pickens to bring our wind technology to the marketplace."
 
     GE is to deliver the 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in 2010 and 2011. The
 GE 1.5-megawatt turbines are among the most widely used wind turbines in
 their class.
 
     In August of 2007, Mesa Power filed documents with the Electric
 Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to add the 4,000 megawatts of
 wind-generated electricity to the power grid in Texas. ERCOT, which
 operates as part of the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), manages the
 state's power grid. Mesa Power has nominated its wind turbine output to be
 delivered by Texas' Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) transmission
 lines. The CREZ transmission lines will benefit Texas electric users by
 delivering them cost effective and reliable electricity generated by
 renewable energy power projects.
 
     Based on extensive testing, Pickens said the project area has some of
 the best wind in the nation. He is also pleased that landowners have been
 so supportive of the project.
 
     "We have had a great response to this project," Pickens said. "We are
 making Pampa the wind capital of the world. It's clear that landowners and
 local officials understand the economic benefits that this renewable energy
 can bring not only to landowners who are involved with the project, but
 also in revitalizing an area that has struggled in recent years."
 
     Pickens envisions that large scale renewable energy projects like his
 Pampa Wind Project will permit the United States to become less dependent
 on foreign oil. Large scale renewable energy projects such as this are
 difficult to execute because they rely upon the Federal Production Tax
 Credit, which provides incentives for development of renewable energy.
 However, large scale renewable energy projects require commitments years in
 advance, while Congress has only extended the Production Tax Credit one or
 two years at a time.
 
     Mesa Power is hopeful that the Pampa Wind Project will qualify for the
 Federal Production Tax Credits in 2010 and 2011 when the project will begin
 commercial operations. "I believe that Congress will recognize that it is
 critical not only to this project, but to renewable energy in this country,
 that they enact a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credits,"
 Pickens said.
 
     "The development of alternative energy projects, especially renewable
 resources such as wind power, is critical for the future of the country in
 the face of declining world oil resources," he said.
 
     "You find an oilfield, it peaks and starts declining, and you've got to
 find another one to replace it," said Pickens, who once operated one of the
 largest independent oil and gas production companies. "It can drive you
 crazy. With wind, there's no decline curve."
 
     The Panhandle, with its wide-open space, low population and steady
 winds, is a logical location for wind-generated energy. Studies show the
 Texas Panhandle winds are optimal for such a project, blowing much of the
 time in the middle of the day when electric demand is at its peak.
 
     Mesa Power has leased land in Carson, Gray, Hemphill, Roberts and
 Wheeler counties, where the landowners will receive annual royalties for
 the wind turbines operating on their property.
 
     Development of the region's wind resources will also create an economic
 bonus similar to the boom the three largest wind farms in America have
 created around Sweetwater in Nolan County. While other towns in West Texas
 struggle with plummeting house prices and job losses, Sweetwater is in the
 midst of a construction explosion. Two new companies opened in the past
 month, one servicing the blades of the county's 2,000 turbines, another
 renting out cranes used in erecting new turbines. Tax revenues from the
 wind energy companies are bringing jobs, new roads and houses, and
 renovating local schools and hospitals there.
 
     An Austin-based Resource Inc. economic impact study, commissioned by
 Mesa Power, projects that the Mesa Power wind farm will bring significant
 increases in jobs and income for the five counties of the project
 investment zone (Carson, Gray, Hemphill, Roberts and Wheeler counties).
 
     The study forecast the project would generate an estimated 1,500 jobs
 during the construction phase, and 720 during a typical year of the
 operation phase; personal income in the project investment zone will rise
 by $68.7 million per year during the construction phase, and $120 million
 during the operation phase. The more significant impact during the
 operation phase is largely due to lease payments to be made to landowners
 in the project area amounting to $65.3 million per year.
 
     Resource Economics estimates that the total value of economic output in
 the region due to the project will be $380 million per year during the
 construction phase and $1.6 billion per year during the operation period,
 and additions to the tax rolls of school districts in the project
 investment zone will amount to $2.4 billion by 2018, assuming the school
 districts approve an application to limit appraisal values during the
 project's first 10 years.
 
     Unicredit served as financial adviser and Vinson & Elkins as counsel to
 Mesa Power in the transaction.
 
 
 

SOURCE Mesa Power LLP
RELATED LINKS
http://www.ge.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.