McCarthy Building Companies completes construction of Michigan’s largest solar farm

McCarthy Building Companies

McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy & Storage group recently completed construction and commissioned the 346.9 MWdc/240 MWac Assembly solar farm in Shiawassee County, Michigan. The state’s largest solar farm was constructed in three phases on 1,200 acres and includes nearly 800,000 bifacial solar modules.  

Assembly I is a 72.3MWdc/50MWac facility that will be completed in December 2020 after 12 months of construction. Construction of the 161 MWdc/110MWac Assembly II, a 23-month construction project, reached commercial operation in December 2021. Construction of Assembly III, a 113.6 MWdc/79MWac solar facility that began in November 2020, reached commercial operation earlier this month.

Construction of Assembly’s three phases was completed over a 26-month period, with several phases happening simultaneously. The Assembly solar farm project developer is owned by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and was developed in a partnership between DESRI and Ranger Power, a utility-scale solar development company based in Chicago and the largest independent solar developer in Michigan. McCarthy served as EPC contractor.  

“DESRI is thrilled to have completed construction and achieved commercial operation on the Assembly projects, and appreciates the ongoing partnership with McCarthy. Projects like Assembly create an opportunity to keep construction jobs local while expanding cost-effective renewable energy capacity in communities across the Midwest,” said Chris Clevenger, chief operating officer of DESRI.

Approximately 400 craft workers assisted in the construction of the project, the majority of whom were recruited from the local area. In addition to the jobs created by the project, the tax revenue from Assembly provides tax funding for schools, libraries, fire and police services, roads, community services and more, bringing substantial economic benefit to the local economy. McCarthy’s partners on the project include TMEIC inverters, Longi modules, Nextracker trackers and WEG transformers. 

“It has been very rewarding to be part of this remarkable solar project, particularly from the standpoint of being able to introduce many craft workers to the rapidly growing solar construction industry,” said Phil Radin, project director for McCarthy Building Companies. “The opportunities that exist for communities like Shiawassee County and others across the Midwest to establish a sustainable energy infrastructure while supporting people in their career development are immeasurable. Thanks to the leadership of our partners Ranger Power and DESRI for allowing us to introduce so many to our industry and bring long-term benefits to this community.”  

The Assembly solar farm is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 394,000 tons annually in the short term – equivalent to the yearly emissions of approximately 77,000 cars while powering the equivalent of around 45,000 homes.

McCarthy’s Renewable Energy & Storage group is currently constructing or has completed nearly 70 utility-scale clean energy projects in communities across the country since 2010, delivering a combined capacity of more than 6.6 GW of clean energy production and over 515 MW/1350 MWh of energy storage. Nationally, McCarthy provides EPC services on utility-scale solar projects for private solar developers and utilities, helping them deliver cost-effective clean energy to the communities they serve.

Ranger Power has successfully permitted over 2,000 MW of projects throughout the Midwest. By the end of 2023, Ranger anticipates that nearly 1 GW of projects developed by the company will be in commercial operation. Ranger Power prides itself on taking a community-first approach by focusing on community engagement, transparency and responsible solar development.

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