The April 9 issue of ENR California magazine will take a look at this year’s top project starts (of 2011) ranking, and though I won’t give away all the projects, the list includes an impressive collection of solar and natural gas energy projects.

The list, as usual, is based on company submissions of projects’ construction value as well as data from McGraw-Hill Construction Research & Analytics.

You might remember that many of last year’s top starts took full advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other available federal funds to get a number of projects off the ground. Three of the top four project starts received stimulus funding or the FTA’s New Starts funds.

This year’s energy projects are also taking advantage of local, state and federal financial backing, including hefty loan guarantees, and expedited approvals. And a number of solar farms also benefited from federal support via the departments of the interior and energy.

Below is a sneak peak, in alphabetical order, of 20 of the contenders this year. Since we’re still qualifying the project data, some of the projects may be pushed off the list in the coming weeks.
Abengoa Mojave Solar Power Plant, San Bernardino County
Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, Lancaster
Calaveras Dam Replacement, Sunol
California Health Care Facility, Stockton
CPV Sentinel Natural Gas Energy Project, Desert Hot Springs
Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, Riverside County
Genesis Solar Energy Project, Riverside County
Haynes Generating Station Modernization, Long Beach
LAX Central Utility Plant, Los Angeles
Long Beach Courthouse Building
Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility Upgrade, San Jose
Mariposa Peaker Power Plant, Alameda County
Marsh Landing Natural Gas Generating Plant, Antioch
Molycorp Rare Earth Manufacturing Facility, Mountain Pass
Oakley Natural Gas Generating Station, Oakley
Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) Widening, Norwalk
Scripps Cardiovascular Institute, San Diego
St. Jude Northwest Patient Tower, Fullerton
Topaz Solar Farm, San Luis Obispo County
Walnut Creek Energy Plant, City of Industry

Attention Design Firms:
Our annual Top Design Firms in California ranking is currently taking submissions. Click here for a survey form.

On June 4, ENR California will publish its annual rankings of Top Design Firms (including consultants, architects, engineers and other design professionals) doing business in California. To ensure that your company receives recognition for its accomplishments in 2011, please submit this survey by March 26.

The ENR Top 400 Contractors and Top 500 Design Firms national lists each have a separate survey. For these surveys, please visit