Despite ever-changing market forces, MYR Group subsidiaries are targeting solar energy opportunities by closely monitoring industry news, staying up-to-date with photovoltaic and battery storage technology, and building relationships with clients, suppliers, labor, and especially…each other.
“Volatile” is a word often used to describe the solar industry. Depending upon who gets elected, tax incentives can be plentiful or hard to come by. Prices can be stable or unpredictable, due to tariffs or trade wars. Sturgeon Electric’s Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Regional Vice President, Larry Baker, oversees Sturgeon California’s renewables group and knows state and national politics can have far-reaching impacts on profit margins. “Projects are usually penciled down to where there is very limited margin in them. Even a modest price increase can add up quickly, especially when you’re talking about 200,000 or 300,000 solar panels.”
Huen Electric New Jersey’s Project Manager, Eric Bechtold sees a lot of opportunity at the statewide level. The company’s Energy Solutions Group, which specializes in solar energy installations, is optimistic that the proposed legislation regarding community solar programs and remote net metering should provide Huen Electric significant opportunities in the future. “The specific details have yet to be hammered out,” he says, “but we do know that New Jersey has mandated some very aggressive renewable energy goals: 21% renewable generation by 2021, 35% renewable generation by 2025, and 50% renewable generation by 2025.”
MYR Group subsidiaries more and more are drawing upon each other’s strengths to win and perform the work.
E.S. Boulos Company’s (ESB) commercial and industrial group, for example, is leveraging its affiliation with ESB’s substation division and Harlan Electric’s transmission and distribution group whenever possible.
“There’s transmission line, substation, and industrial work associated with many large projects,” says Scott Marquis, ESB’s vice president of C&I. “We believe our ability to perform every electrical aspect included in the scope of work is a strong advantage.”
Sturgeon California’s renewables team wasted little time bringing in two other MYR Group subsidiaries — High Country Line Construction and Great Southwestern Construction — to perform testing and construct tie-ins for a 20 MW solar project outside Fresno, CA.
“It’s nice to have this level of assistance from our sister companies,” said Sturgeon California Senior Operations Manager, Raynaldo Ovalle.
With regard to Huen Electric joining the MYR Group team, Bechtold believes there are many exciting opportunities ahead. “We have found that several of our existing New Jersey engineer-procure-construct clients, for example, have expanded their capabilities nationally. These clients have engaged with us about performing photovoltaic projects in other geographic regions. We expect these plans to gain traction in 2019, as they progress from design to permitting and construction.”