May 23, 2018 Read More →

Ohio Contractor Transitions From Nuclear and Coal to Solar

Midwest Energy News:

An Ohio construction firm that got its start working on nuclear and coal-fired power plants is now experiencing steady growth from solar and energy efficiency projects for industrial and institutional customers.

Rudolph Libbe Group celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week at its new Northeast Ohio headquarters in suburban Cleveland. The renovated building is the first of three on what will be a seven-acre regional campus. The Toledo-based company outgrew its previous regional facilities, having gone from two employees in Northeast Ohio to more than 200 in less than 15 years. A large chunk of that growth has come from efficiency and renewable projects.

Rudolph Libbe Group’s companies have had “a connection—a legacy—with the energy industry for a long time,” said Rudolph Libbe Group Chairman Bill Rudolph. “We’ve been part of this shift of the energy industry.”

The Davis-Besse nuclear power plan was the largest customer in the early days of the GEM part of the company’s business. Then the company expanded into work at coal-fired power plants, including projects for FirstEnergy at its former Bay Shore and Eastlake plants and elsewhere. Over the years, the firm’s companies have also done extensive work at petroleum refineries in the Toledo area.

Rudolph Libbe Group got into solar energy about ten years ago with a project for the National Guard. Since then, the group’s GEM Energy company has gained extensive experience building solar arrays, including 2-megawatt and 1-megawatt arrays at Ohio Northern University in Walbridge. On April 27, Rudloph Libbe Inc. announced it has been named the design/build contractor for First Solar’s new 1.2-gigawatt solar module factory in Northwest Ohio.

As Rudolph sees it, renewable energy and energy efficiency provide “triple bottom line” benefits for a customer’s facility. “You can make it better comfort. You can help reduce your operating expenses. And it’s good for the environment.”

More: Ohio Construction Firm Grows With Region’s Clean Energy Transition

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