Bechtel Corp. moved into the renewable-energy sector in a big way on Sept. 14, announcing it would develop and own an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie with partners Cavallo Energy LLC and Great Lakes Wind Energy. The five-turbine, $100-million project, seven miles from Cleveland, could become the first offshore wind farm in the United States. “There is no question that renewables is a growth area … we are moving into,” says Sprague Cook, vice president and manager of renewable power for Bechtel. The San Francisco-based multinational engineering-construction firm is looking into both onshore and offshore wind development, he says.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.