Press Release: 02.21.2019

McCarthy Begins Construction of Three Solar Projects

construction workers

McCarthy recently began construction on three solar projects in Meridian, Miss. Meridian I and II encompass a 6 MWdc solar project located on 38 acres of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian in Lauderdale County. Meridian III is a 75MWdc solar project on approximately 650 acres in Lauderdale County, outside of the Navy base.

Silicon Ranch Corporation, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers, selected McCarthy’s Renewable Energy group as Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contractor. McCarthy is responsible for the design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the facilities. Silicon Ranch is funding the installations and will own and operate the arrays for the long-term, an approach the company takes with every project it develops.

Silicon Ranch’s Meridian I and II will provide power to TVA, and Meridian III will deliver affordable wholesale energy to Mississippi Power. All three facilities will help support the Navy’s objective of strengthening grid resiliency and reliability at NAS Meridian. Local power company East Mississippi Electric Power Association (EMEPA) serves NAS Meridian and supported the development of all three projects. Meridian I and II are scheduled to complete in May 2019, and Meridian III is scheduled for completion before the end of the year.

The projects will provide immediate economic benefits to the surrounding region, as well as economic and environmental benefits that present over time through critical tax revenues and the generation of clean, renewable energy.

Using sustainable design and construction practices, McCarthy has developed a strategy for reducing negative environmental impacts during the installation of the facilities. Through Simple Set Up Solutions, an Atlanta-based firm that connects recyclers and local vendors to find end-use buyers for construction site waste, McCarthy has formed a unique partnership with local recycler JWC Environmental whereby construction waste is being recycled into roofing felt and other building materials. As a result of this recycling program, the Meridian solar projects will be at least 98% sustainable.

Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Matt Kisber said, “At Silicon Ranch we believe we can make a positive difference in the communities we serve, and we’re pleased to work with McCarthy to execute this vision by using local service providers and hiring locally. Silicon Ranch commends the U.S. Navy, EMEPA, Mississippi Power, and TVA for their partnership to bring the economic, environmental, and community benefits of utility-scale solar to Lauderdale County.”

“We are continually working to incorporate more sustainable construction practices into our projects and this partnership is helping to take our vision for being the best builder of clean energy solutions in the nation to a new level,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy group. “We are grateful to team up with sustainable-minded solar owners like Silicon Ranch that understand the value of not only solar infrastructure, but also of utilizing green construction practices to significantly reduce project waste.”

McCarthy plans to hire more than 300 craft workers to construct the projects, the majority of whom are being recruited from the local community, supporting growth in the clean energy job sector. The project will consist of assembling, installing and wiring horizontal single-axis trackers supporting more than 190,000 solar modules. Once completed, the projects are expected to generate enough power for more than 8,500 homes and will contribute significant revenues to support the Lauderdale County school system.

Area residents interested in working on a Meridian solar project should visit www.McCarthy.com/careers/search and enter “solar” to find job postings for positions ranging from entry level to experienced, including laborer, operator, crew lead, electrician and journeyman electrician.

To train entry-level laborers or those new to the growing solar industry, McCarthy is implementing principles of Training Within Industry (TWI), a program originally developed by United States Department of War in the 1940s to help re-train workers quickly and reliably 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 with 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.

Since 2013, McCarthy’s Renewable Energy group has completed or is in the process of constructing more than 30 utility-scale clean energy projects in communities from coast to coast, representing a combined capacity of more than 1.5 Gigawatts (GW) of clean energy production. McCarthy earned a 5th place ranking for Top 10 Solar EPCs in the U.S. by Solar Power World's 2018 Top Solar Contractors.

About McCarthy

McCarthy 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 14th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2018). With approximately 4,600 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has 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 www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Silicon Ranch Corporation

Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch develops to own all of its projects for the long-term, a distinction that means the company is deeply committed to its partners and communities and stands behind the performance of its facilities day in and day out. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 120 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. To learn more, please visit www.siliconranch.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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