Signal Energy Constructors, a design and build general contractor providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to the U.S. renewable energy industry, began construction on 132.7 MW of utility scale solar energy in 2013. That total landed the firm a top ten ranking in Solar Power World’s 2014 Top Solar Contractors list. Signal Energy reports that last year’s totals marked the highest in company history and far exceeded its 2012 figures, putting the company on pace to exceed its 2013 annual installation rate this year (2014) and through 2016.
“We’ve seen exceptional growth in Signal Energy’s solar division,” says Ben Fischer, CEO of Signal Energy. “There is great opportunity in the solar industry over the next few decades and Signal Energy is poised to capture that growth and help build a clean energy future for North America.”
One of Signal Energy’s recent projects is the Searchlight Solar Project located approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The 24-MW project was originally developed by American Capital Energy, and was acquired by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments in partnership with Bright Plain Renewable Energy.
Signal Energy will serve as the EPC contractor for the project, and will also provide operations and maintenance services to the facilities once operational. The projects are expected to produce more than 48,000 MWh of clean energy per year for customers of NV Energy.
Fischer attributes the success of the company to its focus on developing in-house expertise in the most critical areas of the utility scale solar sector: utility interconnection processes, high voltage design, mechanical installation and long-term operations and maintenance.
Signal Energy’s track record of providing a higher value to its customers through its value engineering processes has allowed Signal Energy to grow even as the industry faces challenges from import tariffs on Chinese solar modules and the lack of a comprehensive, domestic energy policy.
“Value engineering allows Signal Energy Constructors to provide our customers with a cost effective solar farm design that produces the most electricity for the least cost,” says Fischer. “By self-performing and therefore controlling the most critical pieces of the construction process, Signal Energy is better able to help developers realize short and long term economic paybacks.”
Fischer’s ideas to help solar energy reach its highest potential include a long-term predictable policy for the solar industry, which encourages companies to invest in renewable energy, coupled with a decrease in development transaction costs.
Not included in the 2014 ranking is an additional pipeline of contracted utility scale solar energy projects, putting Signal Energy’s total to more than 420 MW of utility scale solar since 2010.
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