Alberta-based PCL Construction’s 2021 solar construction revenue increased 60% over the previous year, totalling more than half a billion dollars. By the end of 2022, the company expects solar revenue to hit just under $800 million.
“It’s an exciting time for Canada, we’re seeing a country that is very diverse in how we generate our electricity,” PCL’s director of solar Andrew Moles told SustainableBiz. He added that Canada can “lead the charge” on solar energy, despite a challenging landscape and a limited population, typically collected in dense areas.
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During this surge in construction, PCL’s solar team has also grown from 119 to 214 members, writes SustainableBiz, in an article detailing the company’s solar construction-linked revenue. To date, PCL—an employee-owned group of independent construction companies, headquartered in Edmonton—has contracted for more than C$2 billion across more than 50 solar projects.
PCL’s solar history dates back to around 2010, when the company first laid plans to enter the renewables space. After the division’s formal launch in 2011, its solar operations were focused on Ontario—until 2018, when PCL opened “a solar centre of excellence to help other professionals enter the space,” writes SustainableBiz. PCL’s solar construction projects now extend across Canada and beyond, to locations in Australia and seven U.S. states.
Moles predicted that Alberta and Saskatchewan—where flat landscapes accommodate solar infrastructure—will one day overtake Ontario in their volume of solar projects. He pointed to the Travers Solar Project in southern Alberta as an example of the area’s potential.
The Travers project is “impressive on a global scale, not just a Canadian scale,” Moles said. The $700-million venture will be the largest solar facility in Canada, ultimately generating 692 megawatts of direct current and 465 megawatts of alternating current—enough to power 100,000 homes.
PCL plans to look into other renewable energy systems like battery storage as it continues expanding its renewable energy operations. A new team will also focus on microgrid-style solutions to help individual companies reach their net-zero targets, writes SustainableBiz.
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