Enormous Desert Wind Tower Plan Inches Forward

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.”

clean wind energy, desert downdraft wind tower

image via Clean Wind Energy

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.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.