Ralls looks to US expansion despite Obama ruling

UNITED STATES: Chinese-owned Ralls Corporation has bought a 20MW project in Texas, reversing its decision not to expand in the country.

Ralls CEO Wu Jialiang

Sany, Ralls' parent company, announced in 2012 that it had cancelled plans to expand its investment in wind in the US.

This was due to a row over President Barack Obama's intervention to halt its controversial Butter Creek wind projects in Oregon.

But Ralls has bought the development rights for the 20MW Pleasant Hill project, 20 kilometres from the city of Lubbock, from Dallas-based Tri Global Energy.

"The acquisition and construction of this project represents Ralls Corporation's commitment to the US wind energy market," said Ralls chief executive Wu Jialiang.

Obama used a presidential decree to block the development of the Butter Creek wind farm due to its location close to a naval base, citing national security concerns. The decision in September 2012 was the first time in 22 years that a US president has blocked a foreign business deal.

Ralls had bought the portfolio of projects — comprising four wind farms of 10MW each — in February 2012 from Greek developer Terna. Ralls Corp said it has suffered direct losses of $20 million due to the decision to block development.

Sany has indicated that it is determined to pursue its judiciary procedure against the US government despite a decision by federal judge Amy Jackson to uphold Obama's right to block the project.

Work on the Pleasant Hill project is expected to start in October.