UK-based New Energy Finance released a note today summarizing some news in the wind market that really blew my mind. In fairly short order, the US has become home to the largest wind farms in the world. The title today is held by Texas’ Horse Hollow wind farm with 291 turbines and 735MW of capacity. The way things are going, that’s going to look meager in a few years. Oil-billionaire and newly minted green evangelist T. Boone Pickens (father of the Pickens Plan) is proceeding with a 4,000MW project in the Texas panhandle. Last week, an even bigger project stole Picken’s thunder: BP Alternative Energy and Clipper Windpower, a turbine maker, announced a project to treble their Rolling Thunder project in South Dakota to over 5,000MW. The project would involve some 2,000 turbines. What does this all mean? Here’s what NEF asks:
Wind energy is now being seen as a mature technology, offering predictable cashflows with the possibility of lower costs in the medium term if steel cheapens and competition forces down turbine prices. This is prompting developers to draw their lines round large territories, in the hope of being able to cash in during the next decade if electricity prices stay under upward pressure.
Fine more from NEF here: NEF Weekly Briefing