Beginning work in September 2021, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. recently reached its peak workforce on the Arrow Canyon Solar project, a 274-megawatt DC (MW) solar and a 91 MW, 455 MWh DC-coupled battery energy storage system facility located on Moapa River Indian Reservation located near Moapa, Nevada. Secured as the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor by EDF Renewables to construct the 1,387-acre project, there are currently more than 200 team members on the jobsite, including 46 tribal members. When completed in December 2022, one of Nevada’s largest solar plus storage installation projects will also feature over 621,093 photovoltaic modules.
"This opportunity for employment with McCarthy and the Arrow Canyon solar project has brought work pride into the community,” said Kami Miller, TERO Director for the Moapa Tribe. “It’s a great chance to learn about and help install these new and improved solar panels for a power supply that will help our state and others with much-needed clean renewable energy resources. This new opportunity is a great way to build up our people to learn a new trade and increase their self-esteem as they can now provide a self-sustainable wage for them and their families.”
The Impact of the Arrow Canyon Solar Project
The Arrow Canyon Solar project brings far-reaching economic benefits to Moapa, including job opportunities for both tribal and the local craft workforce. With the support of its partners at Bombard Electric, Las Vegas Paving, Soil-Tech, CMC Rebar and JBM Construction, and in tandem with LiUNA and IBEW unions, the project is providing workforce training and skills development for both tribal and non-tribal members. On-site training is being provided for individuals of all levels of experience, including entry-level, to aid workers in the development of skills for long-term career opportunities in the rapidly expanding solar industry.
LiUNA Backs Development in Southern Nevada
“As an organization within the labor movement, LiUNA is constantly adapting to compete in the ever-changing capacity of the construction industry,” said David Pruitt, Seargent-at-Arms, LiUNA Local 872. “As Southern Nevada grows, we must continually find innovative ways to invest in the environment and working-class people, and the Arrow Canyon Solar project provides for both. We are thankful for the partnership with the Moapa Band of Paiutes, McCarthy, and all subcontractors involved with the project, especially the hard-working men and women that help bring a project of this magnitude to fruition.”
In addition to cultivating jobs and careers for tribal and community members, McCarthy and its partners are working closely with the Moapa Band of Paiutes. Tribal liaisons are onsite to help ensure respect for the Tribe’s mission, vision, values, land and its people is maintained throughout the process.
“McCarthy is proud to be assisting EDF Renewables and the Moapa Paiutes in expanding solar infrastructure and energy storage in Southern Nevada while providing jobs, training, and workforce development for hundreds of local individuals within the area,” said McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage project director Chris Fletcher. “We have a long history delivering renewable energy projects within Nevada and have a fantastic growing relationship with the Tribe. It is extremely rewarding to help develop and train the future workforce in the fast-growing solar energy field within the communities we live and serve.”
Solar Brings Job Opportunites to Nevada
In addition to recruitment and on-site skills training, McCarthy’s training emphasizes a culture of safety and is developed with an eye towards fostering a long-term career path – an approach and philosophy that is shared by all project partners.
“Bombard Electric values its longstanding relationships with McCarthy, IBEW, NV Energy, and the Moapa Paiutes,” said Justin Whitesides, division manager of solar and energy storage with Bombard Electric. “We hope that through our efforts of open collaboration we can continue to bring low-cost power alternatives and good paying careers to our friends, family, and neighbors here in Southern Nevada.”
When fully operational in December 2022, Arrow Canyon will generate enough clean energy to meet the consumption of up to 76,000 average Nevada homes. This is equivalent to avoiding more than 632,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, which represents the greenhouse gas emissions from 137,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.
EDF Renewables has been leading the renewable energy charge for more than 35 years. Committed to providing future generations with the means to power their lives in the most economic, environmental and socially responsible ways possible, EDF Renewables’ North America portfolio consists of 24 gigawatts (GW) of developed projects and 13 GW of operating assets under service contracts.
Devon Muto, senior director of solar development at EDF Renewables commented, “We are proud to invest in the host community and particularly with the Moapa Paiutes to create jobs and career opportunities for tribal and community members. Our partnership with the tribe is critical to the success of the Arrow Canyon project which not only supports the local economy, but also adds to the nation’s clean energy supply.”
McCarthy’s Renewable Energy and Storage group is currently constructing or has completed nearly 70 utility-scale clean energy projects in communities across the country since 2010, delivering a combined capacity of more than 6.6 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy production and over 500 MW of energy storage. Nationally, McCarthy provides EPC services on utility-scale solar projects for private solar developers and utilities, helping them deliver cost-effective clean energy to the communities they serve.
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 9th largest domestic builder (Engineering News-Record, May 2021). With approximately 5,500 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis, Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; and San Diego, Newport Beach, Los Angeles; 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.