Whitepaper: 01.15.2015

Solar Continues to Shine

New Solar Markets Find Value in EPC Delivery

For the past several years, McCarthy’s solar and renewable team has focused on developing a process that delivers upon the unique needs of the industry. The primary objective has been to help the industry’s solar owners successfully construct utility-grade solar at the lowest possible cost for energy with the highest rate of return.

Engineer, Procure, Construct (EPC) services continue to deliver results for solar owners, delivering the best value design model — the best avoided cost accounting for capacity and energy value multipliers in order for a client’s rate of return to be at its highest mark possible.

McCarthy’s solar and renewable team utilizes a Three Step Process. First, key value and cost variables are identified. This is accomplished by using site-specific information and evaluating the local labor costs to develop alternative project-specific budgets and production profiles for several designs. From there, the information is processed for each design through a valuation tool, enabling the team to pinpoint key value drivers and several of the most likely best value designs to be considered.

Second, the sensitivity of the designs is tested compared to variations of budgets, component performance, orientation and DC/AC ratios to determine impacts on returns. These designs are then filtered to identify the design variations that provide the best overall value for the owner.

Last, if market pricing is similar to the preliminary budgets, minor adjustments are made to the values, and the results are passed through a final filter to identify the best value option.

Once the best option is identified, McCarthy also provides the advantage of offering clients self-perform services in key areas, allowing for higher quality installation, a safer work environment, and better control of the schedule. Specifically, McCarthy teams deliver self-perform piles, concrete, mechanical, light civil engineering, rack and module installation, and procurement of key equipment.

Being able to provide this innovative process for value design and self-perform services has positioned McCarthy among the top solar contractors in the nation, earning the team work across the county. Currently, McCarthy’s solar and renewable team is installing six large-scale utility solar projects for a total of more than 151 MW throughout the western United States and was recently selected to build a new 160 MW project in Texas. This, combined with our completed large-scale solar installations, has earned the firm national recognition for two consecutive years by Solar Power World, ranking McCarthy at #33 of 400 among Top Solar Contractors in 2014. Our projects in recent years have also included:

  • 21 MW APS Cotton Center Solar Station in Gila Bend, Ariz.
  • 21 MW APS Hyder II Solar Power Plant in Hyder, Ariz.
  • 22 MW APS Chino Valley Solar Facility in Chino Valley, Ariz.
  • 6 MW Ameren – Belleau Solar Substation in O’Fallon, Mo.

In addition to large-scale photovoltaic installations, McCarthy has also worked with various school districts and universities in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California to install smaller-scale solar projects on school rooftops and parking structures.

“America’s solar industry is currently on pace to achieve another record-shattering year,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This simply wouldn’t be possible without the effort, hard work and creativity of the Top 400 Solar Contractors.”

As the industry continues to receive recognition and achieve positive results and McCarthy’s team is able to bring innovations in value design and cost analysis, we are confident that solar and renewable energy solutions will continue to be sought by more communities around the country.

sign up to receive insights

Sign up to receive McCarthy Insights