Tribal Members Form Part of Workforce on Vast US Solar Project

04 March 2022 by Richard Kent
blog author

​McCarthy Building Companies has reached its peak workforce on one of Nevada’s largest solar projects which includes the employment of 46 tribal members. 

Work commenced last September on the Arrow Canyon Solar Project, a 274-megawatt (MW) DC solar and a 91MW, 455 MWh DC-coupled battery energy storage system facility.  The 1,387-acre project is located on Moapa River Indian Reservation near Moapa, Nevada, and will feature more than 621,093 photovoltaic (PV) modules. 

EDF Renewables appointed McCarthy Building Companies as the EPC contractor (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and with the project well underway and due for completion in December, there are more than 200 team members, including 46 members of the Moapa Tribe. 

Kami Miller, TERO Director for the Moapa Tribe, said: "This opportunity for employment with McCarthy and the Arrow Canyon solar project has brought work pride into the community. 

“It’s a great chance to learn about and help install these new and improved solar panels for a power supply that will help our state and others with much-needed clean renewable energy resources. This new opportunity is a great way to build up our people to learn a new trade and increase their self-esteem as they can now provide a self-sustainable wage for them and their families.”   

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.    

This particular solar project brings considerable economic benefits to Moapa, including job opportunities for both tribal and the local craft workforce. The project is supported by its partners at Bombard Electric, Las Vegas Paving, Soil-Tech, CMC Rebar and JBM Construction.  In addition, the project is providing workforce training and skills development for both tribal and non-tribal members and is working alongside LiUNA and IBEW unions.  

Individuals are received on-site training, regardless of their experience, to develop skills for long-term career opportunities in the solar industry and McCarthy and its partners are working closely with the Moapa Band of Paiutes to help ensure respect is maintained for the tribe’s mission, vision, values, land and its people.   

David Pruitt, Sergeant-at-Arms, LiUNA Local 872, said: “As an organization within the labor movement, LiUNA is constantly adapting to compete in the ever-changing capacity of the construction industry. 

“As Southern Nevada grows, we must continually find innovative ways to invest in the environment and working-class people, and the Arrow Canyon Solar project provides for both. We are thankful for the partnership with the Moapa Band of Paiutes, McCarthy, and all subcontractors involved with the project, especially the hard-working men and women that help bring a project of this magnitude to fruition.”   

Chris Fletcher, McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage Project Director, said: “McCarthy is proud to be assisting EDF Renewables and the Moapa Paiutes in expanding solar infrastructure and energy storage in Southern Nevada while providing jobs, training, and workforce development for hundreds of local individuals within the area. 

“We have a long history delivering renewable energy projects within Nevada and have a fantastic growing relationship with the Tribe. It is extremely rewarding to help develop and train the future workforce in the fast-growing solar energy field within the communities we live and serve.”    

Arrow Canyon will generate enough clean energy to power up to 76,000 average Nevada homes when it is fully operational, equivalent to avoiding more than 632,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year. 

Devon Muto, Senior Director of Solar Development at EDF Renewables, said: “We are proud to invest in the host community and particularly with the Moapa Paiutes to create jobs and career opportunities for tribal and community members. Our partnership with the tribe is critical to the success of the Arrow Canyon project which not only supports the local economy, but also adds to the nation’s clean energy supply.”   

Richard Kent, Senior Research Consultant, US said:Equity, equality and climate change are intrinsically interdependent. As we transition towards a more sustainable future, it’s important to make sure that we do so in a responsible and equitable way. It is great to hear about projects like this that are focused on equipping and supporting local communities, especially those that have historically faced discrimination and prejudice."

 ​Richard is a Senior Research Consultant in our New York office. As the most experienced research consultant on the US team, he leads executive searches in North America, supplying in-depth client and candidate research and talent mapping across all industries. Richard cut his teeth recruiting software engineers, but in recent years he’s focused more on Heads of Product and VP/CXO searches for high growth tech start-ups as well as partner/operating roles for established and growing VC firms. He has worked with a variety of clients ranging from early-stage green energy software start-ups to Fortune 500 electric car manufacturers.

​Prior to Acre, Richard earned dual degrees in Corporate Strategy and Management and Spanish from Vanderbilt University before joining IQTalent Partners as the fifth hire. Over eight years, he helped them grow from 5 to 200+ full time employees and a merger.