Lightsource bp, L3Harris Technologies and McCarthy Building Cos. have completed the 163-MW Elm Branch solar project in Texas. The project began construction in January 2021.
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 PPA between L3Harris and Lightsource bp is for 100 MW of capacity and the environmental attributes.
“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.”
News item from McCarthy