McCarthy Building Companies finishes 26-MW California tracking project ahead of schedule

McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy team, based in Phoenix, recently completed construction on the Midway III solar project, a new 26-MWdc project located in Calipatria, Imperial County, California. The project is owned by Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company.

Mechanical production at Midway III began in Q1 of 2018 and the project was completed in September 2018. Midway III sells all generated power to a large California utility through a 20-year fixed-price power purchase agreement.

“When we announced the purchase of this pre-construction project last year, we estimated that it would take until October 2018 to complete. We are pleased to announce that due to the dedication of our technical asset management staff and the great work of our construction partners, Solar Frontier and McCarthy Building Companies, we were able to complete the commissioning of the project in September. The Company continues to demonstrate an ability to successfully execute a wide variety of transactions including the purchase of construction-ready projects as well as operating assets,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of Greenbacker.

During construction, McCarthy hired 150 local craft workers to construct the project, supporting growth in the clean energy job sector. The project consisted of engineering procurement, assembling, installing and wiring 976 single-axis trackers supporting 140,976 solar panels.

To train the local workforce in the emerging solar industry, McCarthy implemented principles of Training Within Industry (TWI), a program originally developed by United States Department of War in the 1940s to help quickly and reliably re-train workers on moderately complex tasks. Through its TWI solar program, McCarthy applies its “Learn. Perform. Repeat” methodology and offers highly effective and efficient training to workers who have little or no experience in solar installations. By deploying TWI and lean construction principles on solar projects from coast to coast McCarthy is overcoming the biggest challenge faced by the construction industry today and successfully training its solar workforce.

“We’re pleased to complete our first solar project with Greenbacker, successfully adding to their solar portfolio and clean energy solutions in California,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of the Renewable Energy team at McCarthy Building Companies. “Working with a local labor workforce that we were able to successfully train, our Renewable Energy team was able to complete the project on budget and early allowing for it to be commissioned a month ahead of schedule.”

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