Pickens, founder of hedge fund BP Capital, told the Dallas Morning News this week that he would postpone further work on the 4,000 megawatt (MW) project in Pampa, Texas. In an email statement to Energy Risk, Pickens blamed both the current economic climate, as well as transmission issues, for the decision to stall the project. But he insisted he remains committed to developing wind energy generation projects in the US and possibly Canada.
"The capital markets have dealt us all a setback and I'm less aggressive with the Panhandle project than I have been," he said. "I'm committed to 667 wind turbines and I am going to find projects for them. I had hoped that Pampa would be the starting point, but transmission issues and the problem with the capital markets make that unfeasible at this point. I expect to continue development of the Pampa project, but not at the pace that I originally expected."
The Pickens Plan was originally launched in July 2008, when he signed up 3,000 acres of leasing in Pampa, which is located in the Texas Panhandle. Pickens planned to install enough wind turbines on the land to generate 4,000MW of power, the equivalent of two nuclear plants, making it the largest wind farm in the world. This formed part of his attempts to highlight the United State's dependence on foreign oil and convince the US Government to boost energy independence by generating up to 22% of the nation's energy supply through wind power.