Located on the mouth of the Black River on Lake Erie, the city of Lorain, Ohio, has a long history dating back to the area’s original settlement in the early 19th century. The community of more than 64,000 people is proud of its history and heritage as one of the state’s most important centers of steel manufacturing, but the march of time has presented the city with the same challenge faced by a growing number of communities across the United States, as its water and wastewater infrastructure continues to age and approach obsolescence. 

Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit launched in 1979 to make life’s most basic needs more affordable, began an aggressive move into solar energy in 2010 to generate revenues to finance its charitable mission. Like other ventures owned by the parent company, Citizens Solar uses business success to finance programs that help with the energy needs of senior citizens and low-income families.

Citizens Solar develops, finances, constructs, owns and operates all of its solar projects. To date, it has completed the construction of a $100 million portfolio of 23 distributed-solar projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) on the East Coast. It installs solar arrays on capped and closed landfills and has installed and currently operates four landfill solar projects totaling 8.5 MW.

In 2006, many Northeastern states were building wind farm projects, but Connecticut had not yet stepped forward. But Chairman Paul Corey and President and CEO Greg Zupkus sought to change that by founding BNE Energy Inc.

Both men had been friends for nearly their entire lives. “We have known each other all the way back to grammar school,” Zupkus recalls, adding that he and Corey have experience in government relations.

Zupkus had worked for AT&T, while Corey had served as the executive director for Connecticut’s Department of Public Utility Control, now called the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. When he left the law firm of Brown Rudnick, Corey saw the chance to develop wind energy in the state.

The Jimmie Creek run-of-river hydroelectric expansion project is taking place in a remote location about 100 miles north of Vancouver, which presents unique challenges for Alterra Power Corp., the renewable energy company overseeing the work. “It’s a remote project,” says Jay Sutton, vice president of hydropower. 

Alterra is accustomed to working in the region, having built plants there in recent years.

“This is an expansion of two other plants that we have,” Sutton says. Specifically, the plant will be an expansion of the 234 MW Toba-Montrose facilities that became operational in 2010. “The Jimmie Creek plant will use the Toba-Montrose transmission line to carry its electricity to the grid,” he says.

For nearly 20 years, AVL Manufacturing has provided turnkey manufacturing and assembly solutions for customers in multiple sectors throughout North America, including the oil and gas industry. The company has become one of Canada’s largest privately owned engineering, manufacturing and assembly facilities, and CEO Vince DiCristofaro says the company continues to find ways to serve new markets through its innovative products and services. 

Originally founded as Hamilton Metal Works in 1998, AVL Manufacturing today is part of The AVL Group of Companies. Whereas the company’s initial focus was on large custom fabrications and machining, the AVL Manufacturing of today incorporates a full slate of services, including full assembly, engineering, project management and single-source supply chain services. From its dual fabrication facilities in Hamilton, Ontario, AVL Manufacturing delivers products including custom enclosures and oilfield components in a state-of-the-art environment with extensive collaboration with its customers. 

XL Industrial Services is known in the oil and gas industry for providing a streamlined approach to the completion of terminal and pipeline projects, which has led to it doubling in size over the past four years. “Because we have experience in mechanical and electrical work, we are able to do a bigger share of the work in-house,” President Brian Guibert says. “Our customers don’t have to go to multiple contractors to get their work done – it starts and stops with us.”

Guibert founded the LaPorte, Ind.-based company in 2003 as a service-oriented mechanical and electrical contractor experienced in all areas of work associated with petroleum, chemical, food, steel, refrigeration and industrial process facilities. The foundation of XL Industrial Services lies in its commitment to safety and quality, and in providing qualified personnel and unmatched customer service.

The history of WGL Holdings dates back more than 165 years when Congress granted Washington Gas Light Company a charter to operate as Washington, D.C.’s first natural gas provider. Today, Washington Gas is the largest business within the diversified energy company WGL, serving approximately 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia with natural gas services.

WGL’s portfolio also includes WGL Energy and WGL Midstream. WGL Energy includes a distributed generation business that designs, builds, operates and owns on-site energy systems including solar, combined heat and power or hybrid, fuel cell and other clean technologies mainly for commercial, campus and government accounts. WGL Energy’s retail services business offers natural gas, electricity, wind/renewable energy credits and carbon offsets to businesses and consumers in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. 

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