Six Companies to Watch
Projects in 2011 include a $34.4 million, 12-mile upgrade to Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas to accommodate express bus traffic, as well as improvements at McCarran International Airport.
First Solar Inc.
Expects solar revenue to flare 46% in 2011
Offering cost-effective, renewable energy alternatives to fossil-fuel generation, Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar manufactures solar modules with advanced semiconductor technology and provides photovoltaic-system solutions. In 2010, the firm completed the 48-MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility in Boulder City, Nev.
As the year closed, First Solar began building—and then sold—the 290-MW Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County to Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy Inc. Expected to be the largest operational photo-voltaic site in the world when completed by 2014, Agua Caliente will offset approximately 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 for 25 years. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services under the agreement.
In 2011, First Solar forecasts net sales in the range of $3.7 to $3.9 billion, up 46%, says Rob Gillette, CEO, in a statement. He says the company will focus more on transition markets in U.S., China and Australia where demand is starting to jump, in addition to constructing several additional large-scale solar projects.
Ryan Companies US Inc.
Developer and builder of high-profile projects
This commercial real estate firm offers integrated construction and development, as well as asset, property and facilities management services. Projects completed by the firm’s Phoenix office in 2010 include the $250-million Musical Instrument Museum and 3900 E. Camelback, a 185,000-sq-ft Class A office building.
Projects currently under construction include the 223,000-sq-ft FBI Headquarters in north Phoenix, the 690,000-sq-ft Maricopa County Courthouse in downtown Phoenix and a Target store in Chandler.
In Tucson, Ryan Cos. is building a nine-story midrise headquarters for UniSource Energy Co., the parent company of Tucson Electric Power. Targeting LEED Gold or Platinum and scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter, the project will provide 170,000 sq ft of office space and 11,000 sq ft of ground-level retail.
The firm anticipates a number of build-to-suit projects in 2011, says John Strittmatter, President, Southwest Division. “2010 certainly has been a challenging year for all in our industry,” he says. “I believe we have fared better than most, and that is entirely due to the professionalism and dedication of our staff.”
Zia Engineering & Environmental Consultants LLC
Hispanic-owned firm rapidly grew in 2010
Founded in 2000, the Las Cruces, N.M.-based firm was recently listed as the 33rd-fastest growing Hispanic-owned businesses in the nation by Hispanic Business Magazine. According to Inc. Magazine, Zia’s 2009 revenue of $9.8 million represented a 201% increase from 2006. The firm provides engineering and environmental consulting services to government agencies and commercial firms nationwide.
For over a year, Zia has conducted a Cultural Resources Survey at Spaceport America, near Truth or Consequences, N.M. Zia archaeologists have collected numerous Mexican artifacts, pottery and coins dating back to 1824. In 2010, the firm began work at three Army installations in the eastern United States as a result of a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, Zia has begun an environmental assessment at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to consider a photovoltaic solar-generating system on site.