DALLAS — A new large-scale solar infrastructure project, built in part by Texas veterans, began commercial operation under a power contract between L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) and Lightsource bp.
The agreement with L3Harris enabled Lightsource bp to finance and construct the solar project, which broke ground in January. Lightsource bp, owner and operator of the site, selected McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. as the Engineer, Procure, and Construct (EPC) contractor for the solar project.
Through an apprenticeship program, led by McCarthy and Adaptive Construction Services (ACS), approximately 50 veterans directly supported the construction of the solar project or completed training at the site. The infrastructure project, located 40 miles south of Dallas, created approximately 250 overall construction jobs.
“Veterans are a critical part of our company and our country’s workforce,” said Byron Green, Vice President, Global Operations, L3Harris. “This new solar project serves as a model of the benefits that shared goals among several organizations can create to support veterans, communities and the environment.”
The solar power agreement between L3Harris and Lightsource bp is the equivalent of eliminating about 110,000 metric tons of CO2 per year or removing 24,000 cars from the road every year. The agreement will help L3Harris meet its commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2026.
“At our Elm Branch solar project in Texas, we’ve come together with great partners who have a shared goal to help progress America’s sustainability,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas, Lightsource bp. “Together, we’ve built infrastructure that will reduce carbon emissions in the electricity sector and promote healthier, more resilient communities. At the same time, we’re helping veterans, who have done so much to protect America, with an apprenticeship program that’s the start of lasting careers for them in solar construction.”
The Elm Branch solar project is 163 megawatts in total. The agreement between L3Harris and Lightsource bp is for 100 megawatts of capacity and the environmental attributes. The total project is comprised of more than 360,000 solar panels across approximately 1,350 acres of land.
“Solar is providing excellent opportunities for underemployed or unemployed veterans and workers to embark on new rewarding careers,” said Scott Canada, Senior Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy & Storage group. “Veterans bring incredibly valuable skills and through our accredited apprentice training program we’re able to train them and provide a path for a long-term career in construction. We had great success with the program at Elm Branch and are implementing this on other projects around the country.”
ACS, a veteran-owned and staffing organization, joined the team to implement its accredited apprenticeship program that is free for participating veterans. Through the ACS program, each apprentice builds skill through the combination of on-the-job training, mentorship and technical instruction. The curriculum is designed to help veterans understand and develop the skills and knowledge essential to be successful on construction projects and supports McCarthy’s national craft workforce training initiative.
“Developing effective partnerships with employers and the public workforce system is critical to the success of any workforce development program,” said Nicolas Morgan, President, ACS. “The apprenticeships at Elm Branch provided veterans with an opportunity to gain skills needed to confidently work and contribute to a team, along with industry-recognized credentials that can translate into lasting careers.”
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About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries. L3Harris.com.
About Lightsource bp
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. Our purpose is to deliver affordable and sustainable solar power for businesses and communities around the world. Our team includes over 500 industry specialists, working across 15 countries. We provide full scope development for our projects, from initial site selection, financing and permitting through to long-term management of solar projects and power sales to our clients. Lightsource bp in the US is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Austin. lightsourcebp.com.
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. McCarthy’s Renewable Energy and Storage group has completed more than 50 utility-scale clean energy projects in communities across the country since 2010, delivering a combined capacity of more than 4.9 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy production and over 340 MW/770MWh of energy storage. Nationally, McCarthy provides EPC services on utility-scale solar projects for private solar developers and utilities. More information is available at www.mccarthy.com.
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