Press Release: 07.02.2018

McCarthy Breaks Ground on 15 MW Latitute Solar Center in Tennessee

coronal energy logo

McCarthy recently broke ground on construction of the 15 MWac Latitute Solar Center in Whiteville, Tenn., for Coronal Energy, a leading independent power producer focused on utility-scale solar and storage projects, and Tennesse Valley Authority (TVA), a member-owned electric distribution cooperative.

When commissioned, the Latitude Solar Center will become one of the largest solar facilities in the state spanning 156 acres. 2018 is forecast to be a record-setting year for new solar generating capacity in Tennessee, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. More than three-quarters of new installed capacity is expected to come from utility-scale solar. Last year the state added nearly 80 MW of new solar to its grid and is expected to add more than 90 MW this year, including the Latitude Solar Center.

“The Latitude Solar Center is our third utility-scale solar project with TVA and McCarthy, and once online will represent another project that has gone end-to-end through our development process,” said Danny Van Clief, president of Coronal Energy. “When completed this project will be added to our growing operating portfolio and will provide Tennessee Valley customers decades of low-cost, sustainable power.” 

TVA will purchase the projects’ output under a 20-year power purchase agreement and interconnect to the grid through facilities owned and operated by Bolivar Energy Authority. The project is expected to be completed in late fall of 2018.

“TVA cares about the environment, and this Coronal Energy project helps us meet our commitment to provide the 9 million people of the Tennessee Valley with reliable, low-cost, carbon-free electricity,” said Jay Stowe, senior vice president Distributed Energy Resources for TVA. “Over the next 20 years, TVA will invest about $8 billion to support our renewable energy portfolio, and we see a bright renewable energy future for projects like this across the Tennessee Valley.” 

McCarthy’s Phoenix-based Renewable Energy team is serving as the Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) contractor and is responsible for the construction, design, procurement, commissioning and handover of the solar project.

To complete the installation of more than 166,000 solar modules, approximately 150 local workers will be hired during construction. To train the local workforce in the emerging solar industry, McCarthy implemented principles of Training Within Industry (TWI), a program originally developed by the U.S. 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.

“Utility-scale solar installation projects are locking in reliability, favorable rates and social responsibility for energy-focused businesses, municipalities and utilities alike by leveraging the power of the sun,” said Scott Canada, senior vice president of the Renewable Energy team at McCarthy. “We are grateful to team up with sustainable-minded solar players like Coronal Energy, TVA and Bolivar Energy Authority to bring jobs to Whiteville, while we also work to update the energy infrastructure across the country by bringing clean energy solutions that will provide sustainable energy for decades to come.”

In recent years, McCarthy’s Renewable Energy Team 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 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy production. McCarthy earned a 6th place ranking for EPC utility-scale solar installations in the U.S. by Solar Power World's 2017 Top 500 Solar Contractors. 

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 14th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2018). With approximately 3,700 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, Instagram and Google+.

About Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic

Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is a leading independent power producer focused on utility-scale solar and storage projects. The firm provides turnkey solar energy solutions tailored for diverse enterprise customers across North America, including utilities, corporations, and the public sector. Uniting 3 gigawatts of completed project experience with the financial strength of a Fortune Global 500 company (#110), Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, owns and manages a 333 megawatt operating portfolio and a multi-gigawatt development pipeline in more than 20 US states. For more, please visit CoronalEnergy.com and follow us @CoronalEnergy on Twitter.

About TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. Information about TVA and its 84-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley.

Did you enjoy this read? The McCarthy team regularly shares Insights posts about our latest projects and innovations. Sign up to receive Insights directly in your inbox and you'll never miss another exciting update. Sign up here.

sign up to receive insights

Sign up to receive McCarthy Insights