Mortenson Construction celebrates 20 years in wind energy at WINDPOWER

By WINDPOWER Today Celebrating 20 Years in Wind

Celebrating the historic growth and advancement of both industry and company, leading wind energy construction firm Mortenson Construction is taking the opportunity presented by the AWEA WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Exhibition to mark its 20th year in the wind energy industry.

“Mortenson Construction couldn’t be prouder to celebrate 20 years serving what has become one of America’s greatest industries—wind energy,” said Tim Maag, Vice President and General Manager of Mortenson’s Wind Energy Group. “The same mission and values that drove us to success in the last 20 years will allow us to continue to serve our partners effectively in the next 20. Those values include a commitment to safety, quality, lean innovation, and most of all, our customers.” 

Maag added that the industry’s success is attributable to customers and partners working together to build great projects. “It was important to us to celebrate our anniversary alongside all of our outstanding customers and trade partners we’ve worked with through the years, and there’s no better place to do that than here in Orlando at WINDPOWER 2015,” he said.

Indicative of the breadth of companies with which Mortenson has worked through its 20-year history, the company has erected the turbines of every major original equipment manufacturer. Moreover, Mortenson’s own milestones reflect the tremendous advance of the industry itself. Its very first project back in 1995 was a small facility constructed in Adair, Iowa. The entire facility: a single, 0.5 megawatt (MW) turbine installed to power a small factory that Mortenson constructed even before its Wind Energy Group existed.

Today Mortenson is recognized as a leading wind energy construction company. As one example of its growth and position in the industry today, the company is building a project for MidAmerican Energy that totals 500 MW. Fittingly, the Highland Wind Project is located in Iowa, where the company’s wind energy business first got off the ground.

Check out what 20 years in wind looks like:

Illustrating wind energy’s ability to create jobs, Mortenson’s wind business has grown to employ 405 people today. Mortenson has worked with turbines that have continually evolved through the years, giving the company a unique perspective on industry advances. The cost of wind energy dropped by more than 50 percent between 2009 and 2013 alone. Mortenson has been at the hub of technological advances, installing taller towers and turbines with larger rotor diameters that produce more energy. While less talked about, companies like Mortenson have also constantly worked to achieve new construction efficiencies that contribute to wind’s downward cost trend. The major turbine manufacturers regularly call on Mortenson to erect new-model prototypes and develop installation manuals as the company continues to streamline installation processes.

Here are just a few achievements Mortenson is celebrating through its 20th anniversary. In the last two decades, Mortenson has:

  • Partnered with a total of 42 customers,
  • Built or has under construction 142 wind farms in 29 U.S. states and Canadian provinces,
  • Constructed 22-24 percent of all wind energy in the U.S.,
  • Constructed 100 substations and interconnects, and
  • Installed 10,266 miles of collection system.

Another major achievement during the last two decades is how Mortenson has expanded its business to better serve the industry. As of the end of 2014, nearly 48,000 turbines were deployed in the U.S., creating a burgeoning need for wind energy services expertise. With years of installation experience under its belt and a background of working with all of the turbines in the market (and their manufacturers), Mortenson expanded its wind energy operations via Mortenson Energy Services to provide main component exchange and support services to its customers.

“Our 20th anniversary reminds us of just how far our company and industry have come,” Maag said. “We’re just as excited today as we were in 1995 to work with our customers and partners in installing additional megawatts and in moving our great industry ahead. The first 20 years have been amazing, but we know the next 20 will be even better.”

One way Mortenson is celebrating its 20th anniversary is by sponsoring the Thought Leader Theater at WINDPOWER 2015. The Thought Leader Theater, accessible right on the exhibition floor (Booth 2538, near AWEA booth), is emblematic of the expertise built by both Mortenson and the industry as a whole, as it features presentations by experts from leading companies around the industry.