163-MW Elm Branch solar project completed in Texas

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 internship program, led by McCarthy and Adaptive Construction Services (ACS), approximately 50 veterans directly supported the construction of the solar project or completed on-site training. The infrastructure project, 40 miles south of Dallas, involved about 250 construction works.

“Veterans are a critical part of our business and our nation’s workforce,” said Byron Green, Vice President, Global Operations, L3Harris. “This new solar project serves as a model of the benefits that shared goals between different organizations can create to support veterans, communities and the environment.”

The PPA between L3Harris and Lightsource bp is for 100 MW capacity and environmental characteristics.

“Solar provides excellent opportunities for under- or unemployed veterans and employees to start new, rewarding careers,” said Scott Canada, Senior Vice President of McCarthy’s Renewable Energy & Storage group. “Veterans bring incredibly valuable skills, and our accredited apprenticeship training program allows us to educate them and provide a path for long-term careers in construction. We had great success with the program at Elm Branch and are implementing it in other projects across the country.”

ACS, a veteran-owned and agency-owned organization, has joined the team to implement the accredited internship program, which is free to participating veterans. Through the ACS program, each student builds skills 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 success in construction projects and supports McCarthy’s national initiative for craft training.

“Developing effective partnerships with employers and the public workforce system is critical to the success of any workforce development program,” said Nicolas Morgan, president of ACS. “The internships at Elm Branch gave veterans the opportunity to gain skills needed to confidently work and contribute to a team, along with industry-recognized credentials that can translate into sustainable careers.”

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