This movement toward deregulation--airlines would soon follow--"caught my imagination," Polsky says.
He saw immense potential and tried to persuade his bosses at Fluor to get into the business directly, rather than simply design plants for others.
Last year, Invenergy broke ground on Wind Catcher, a 2,000-megawatt project in the Oklahoma Panhandle whose $4.5 billion price tag includes the cost, born by utilities, of building a 350-mile connector line.
Once it is fully operational in 2020, it will be the biggest wind farm in North America and second biggest in the world.
Fluor was wary of competing with customers and demurred.
Frustrated, Polsky left, and in 1985, he co-founded Indeck Energy Services.They'll have to win on old-fashioned metrics such as reliability and price. He was the first in his family to go to college, graduating from Kiev Polytechnic in 1974 with an advanced degree in mechanical engineering.Opportunities remained limited, though, because of his religion.Not many people can say that energy was their destiny. "Nobody is born to be a power plant engineer, like you're born to be an artist or a composer," he says."But when I started studying it, I liked it." Enthralled might be a better word.There's the wind farm, with 140 turbines powering more than 34,000 homes; a utility-scale solar farm nestled in a bed of purple and yellow wildflowers; and to bank that energy, a 30-megawatt battery storage facility.In the midst of it, sipping from a manmade cooling lake three miles square, is an aging nuclear plant, owned by Exelon.He remembers a moment during his journey to the West, on a train between Rome and Milan, when his heart leaped at the sight of a set of belching smokestacks."Because I felt, 'Oh, maybe one day I'll be working on a power plant! "Even now, when I go in a power plant, I feel like I'm in an environment that I like and I want to be in."His degree yielded a job at Bechtel, the American construction behemoth that built Hoover Dam--and most of Saudi Arabia's infrastructure.Invenergy developed its first project in 2003, a total loser of a wind farm in Tennessee called Buffalo Mountain. Invenergy has built 78 wind farms--mainly in the U. Total generating capacity: more than 16,000 megawatts, enough to power five million homes--and more are coming.Polsky isn't some green warrior seeking to save us from our fossil fuelishness.