The company has said the project would lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs to construct the towers and a further 2,000 workers would be needed to operate the facility. The towers would be built on land near San Luis, Ariz. and although initial zoning approval has now been granted final approval must come from the San Luis City Council.
There has been some skepticism locally about the “downdraft towers,” with the Yuma Sun, the local paper, saying the scheme had “a science-fiction type quality to it.”
Some of this uncertainty might have been fueled by the extremely high cost of the project—estimated at $5 billion—and the company’s unsteady performance. In the 18-month period from October last year to March, Clean Wind Energy Tower’s shares nose-dived from 20 cents to less than 4.5 cents a share.
Before that, when the company first announced the new technology the news was rather overshadowed by the resignations of the chief technology officer, chief structural engineer and program manager.