The Blue Hills Wind development in southwest Texas’s Val Verde County has attracted heightened scrutiny in recent months, with lawmakers and experts signaling concern that the Chinese project could be used as a cover for espionage and to disrupt the state’s power grid.
The proposed wind farm site is about 30 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and near the Laughlin Air Force Base, the U.S. Air Force’s largest pilot training facility.
The land for the wind farm is owned by a Chinese company called GH America Investments Group, which has since 2015 bought 130,000 acres of land—an area the size of Tulsa, Oklahoma—in Val Verde County. The man behind the firm is Sun Guangxin, a businessman from the northwestern Xinjiang region in China, who has strong ties to the communist regime.
Sun, a former military officer, is currently the richest person in Xinjiang—where the regime is committing genocide against ethnic Muslim minorities. He has a net worth of $1.9 billion, according to Forbes, and was also the vice chairman of the Xinjiang Provincial Youth Federation.
“My view is that is the reason that he bought the wind farm and wants to put up 700-foot turbines, is he plugs directly into our electric grid. Well, plugging directly into our electric grid is something that should never happen,” Bass, founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, told Epoch TV’s “American Thought Leaders” program.
Spurred by these security concerns, the Texas Legislature recently unanimously passed legislation that would ban individuals or companies connected with China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia from entering into contracts relating to the state’s critical infrastructure. The bill has been sent to the governor for signature. If it is signed, it will take effect immediately.
The country’s critical infrastructure has been the target of several cyberattacks in recent months. An annual threat assessment (pdf) by the U.S. Intelligence Community said the Chinese regime’s cyber-capabilities “at a minimum, can cause localized, temporary disruptions to critical infrastructure within the United States.”
Bass said the land was a curious site for a wind farm given that the area is not known to produce high levels of wind. The proposed height of the wind turbines are 700 feet—the height of the Washington Monument—meaning that they could be used to spy on activities at the Air Force base and border security operations at the U.S.-Mexico Border, he added.
Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, sponsor of the bill, has likened the project to a “Trojan horse.”
“Why do they want to put this in Val Verde County, where the wind doesn’t really blow? Why is this area, where the turbine farm was going to be, 65 miles from our Laughlin Air Force Base, a strategic pilot training base?” Campbell said on the Senate floor in April.
GH America is now reviewing its options in light of the passage of the legislation, News 4 San Antonio reported.
Stephen Lindsey, a vice president of the company, told News 4 that the proposed wind farm was not a threat to the state’s security, and added that he didn’t know if Sun has ties to the Chinese Communist Party.