PCL Construction continues to see outstanding growth in its solar division, reaching more than half a billion dollars in annual revenue in 2021. PCL’s solar sector team also nearly doubled in the same time-period, growing from 119 employees to 214. As demand for renewable energy accelerates, PCL has expanded solar operations across six states and three countries.
“The demand for high-performing solar facilities will only increase in the coming years as the world transitions away from carbon-producing forms of energy generation,” says Andrew Moles, director of solar for PCL Construction. “PCL has risen to the challenge by assembling an outstanding renewable energy team ready to meet the needs of this ever-growing market.”
To date, PCL has contracted more than $2 billion in solar energy for key players in the technology and utility industries. Notable projects include:
The Travers Solar Project is a nearly 700-megawatt, direct current solar project which will cover 3,300 acres and generate enough electricity for approximately 100,000 homes annually upon completion. The $700-million project is the largest solar facility ever built in Canada and is being constructed by 750 workers. The project is expected to be complete in the fall.
The McKellar Solar Project in Madison County, Tennessee will be one of the largest solar facilities in the Tennessee Valley once it is completed. The 95-megawatt, direct current facility is funded by Silicon Ranch, who will also own, operate, and maintain the facility, a disciplined approach the company takes with every project it develops.
The Shakes Solar Project, which will be complete by the end of 2022, is currently one the largest solar facilities PCL has constructed in the U.S. at 1,800 acres. The facility is owned and operated by Cypress Renewables and can generate 270-megawatt direct current that is sent via 138-kilovolt transmission line to a substation more than 16 miles away. From the substation the energy is then used to power 36,000 homes in south Texas.
Moles cites the team’s experience building conceptual solar designs as evidence of their ability to solve any challenges that arise and deliver high-performing facilities. The team also continues to diversify its skilled offerings for solar projects, establishing itself as a multi-service partner for clients. For example, PCL is skilled in Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), which store solar energy for later use such as during the night or an overcast day. Finally, to gain greater control over project schedules and costs, PCL now self-performs 75% of the work on solar projects.
With every project, PCL’s team becomes more adaptable and skilled at finding opportunities for innovation, according to Brad Hise, operations manager for PCL, U.S. Solar.
“Not one of the more than 50 solar projects built by PCL has been the same,” says Hise. “Each time we take what we learned to streamline processes, serve as better advisors to our clients, and move the standard for excellence on solar projects even higher. Our diverse experience is one reason PCL has built a reputation as the go-to name in solar construction.”
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