- Developer Gardner Capital has broken ground on Missouri's largest solar farm, according to the Springfield News-Leader.
- The 72-acre project in Nixa, MO, will include 33,288 solar panels and will reduce the city's carbon footprint while meeting about 9% of its annual power requirements — enough to power 1,800 homes. By utilizing solar energy, the city will save an estimated $2.5 million over the next 25 years.
- Gardner assumed a leadership role in the project after solar company Solexus, which is still part of the project, experienced delays around financing, state and local taxes, and permitting.
Tesla is also reportedly setting a record with its own rooftop solar farm, which the company said will be the largest such installation in the world. The 70-megawatt farm will sit on the roof of its $5 billion battery gigafactory outside of Reno, NV, and will power the entire facility, which will be a net-zero energy building.
Another large-scale Tesla solar project, in conjunction with Tesla-owned SolarCity and backed by the Environmental Protection Agency, is the construction of a solar microgrid in American Samoa. The initiative will aim to eliminate the island's use of expensive diesel generators and provide 72 hours of solar power via an array that recharges if it can get exposure to seven hours of sunlight.
More construction companies are entering the renewable energy market as wind and solar power options become increasingly viable alternatives. Christopher Alt, principal and technical leader of Studio Ma in Phoenix, told Construction Dive in April that the construction industry will likely see more solar- and wind-powered energy system integration with buildings and developments as well.
For example, Mortenson Construction is installing a 1.3-megawatt solar array on a carport at the Peña Station NEXT transit-oriented development in the Denver metro area, as well as its first grid-connected battery storage project. Mortenson also built the 112,500-square-foot Panasonic Enterprise Solution Company (PESCO) building, which the solar-energy storage grid will service as part of the Peña Station project.