Press Release: 06.27.2017

Coronal Energy Selects McCarthy to Expand Virginia’s Solar Energy Capacity

20 MWac solar project in Essex County benefits local community with clean energy, jobs and tax revenue.

McCarthy’s Renewable Energy Team, based in Phoenix, was selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor on a new 174-acre, 20 MWac solar development project in Essex County, Va., by Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, a leading independent power producer (IPP). The Essex Solar Center, located in Dunnsville, will be one of the largest solar developments in Virginia and marks further expansion of McCarthy’s clean energy footprint along the east coast.  

Construction will begin this month, and is expected to complete in November 2017. McCarthy plans to hire an estimated 80 – 100 local workers during the construction phase. The project will consist of assembling, installing, and wiring single-axis trackers supporting 78,416 solar panels. To train the local workforce in the emerging solar industry, McCarthy’s Renewable Energy Team is implementing Training Within Industry (TWI), a program developed by United States Department of War in the 1940's to help industry quickly and reliably re-train workers on moderately complex tasks. Through TWI principles, McCarthy is applying its "Learn. Perform. Repeat” methodology. 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 be entering into our first solar project with Coronal Energy, and helping to significantly increase the amount clean energy solutions available to residents of Virginia,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of the Renewable Energy team at McCarthy Building Companies. “And, through our TWI training program, we look forward to bringing new jobs to the community and re-training the local workforce with skills that can be applied to our growing industry.”

This is the first project McCarthy and Coronal Energy have pursued together. Upon completion of construction, Coronal Energy will own and operate the utility-connected solar power plant, which will deliver the power it generates to a utility via a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The Essex Solar Center will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 single-family homes in Virginia annually.

“We’re delighted construction is underway on this significant project that bolsters the solar energy industry locally as part of a statewide commitment to generate more power from renewable resources,” said Danny Van Clief, Chief Commercial Officer, Coronal Energy. “This project – one of three sites McCarthy and Coronal Energy plan to build together this year – marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship that will help us provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to the local communities in and beyond Dunnsville.”  

To date, McCarthy’s Renewable Energy Team, based in Arizona, has completed several large-scale solar installations across the U.S. representing a combined capacity of more than 800 MWac of energy production. The McCarthy was named to the 2016 Solar Power World’s Top 500 solar contractors list, ranking #29.

About McCarthy Building Companies:

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 15th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2017). With approximately 1,800 salaried employees and offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Portage, Ind.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; Albuquerque; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.

About Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic:

Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is a leading independent power producer providing turnkey solar energy solutions tailored for diverse enterprise customers across North America, including utilities, corporations, and the public sector. It unites the financial strength of a Fortune Global 500 company (#128) and Panasonic’s award-winning history of solar innovation and sustainability leadership with the project development, finance, engineering, construction, and asset management experience of Coronal Energy. The result is smarter solar that translates to smarter business for customers. The collective experience of Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, includes projects in 40 states totaling 2.3 GW, with more than 3.4 GW of greenfield and brownfield projects under construction/contract or in development. For more, please visit and follow us on Twitter @CoronalEnergy.

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