McKinstry Expands with Holistic Solar and Storage Solutions

Healthier learning for Denver Public Schools, courtesy of McKinstry.

McKinstry, a national construction and energy services firm, is helping clients achieve their climate and sustainability goals through an integrated suite of energy and facility services that has grown to include solar photovoltaics, distributed generation, battery storage systems, geothermal energy, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, community solar and more. Among the projects, McKinstry partnered with Denver Public Schools on an energy savings performance contract.

As part of the company’s Action for Impact plan to address the climate, affordability and equity crises, McKinstry is focusing its services on transforming the built environment by breaking down barriers for organizations pursuing a zero-carbon future. McKinstry’s renewable energy team has successfully developed, built and maintained rooftop, canopy and ground-mounted solar and storage projects for city and county governments, K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, healthcare facilities and others.

“Interest in decarbonization and renewables is flourishing as leaders across the country seek to establish bold, aggressive zero-carbon goals,” said Jeff Hughes, McKinstry’s director of renewable energy services. “We’re seeing opportunities to offer robust renewable energy options in nearly every market, helping clients identify creative solutions that not only fit their budget and infrastructure needs but their sustainability goals as well.”

In just the past three years, McKinstry has grown its renewable energy team from its initial two hires to a team of 20 professionals who have been awarded projects ranging in size from 500kW to 15MW across 14 states. Projects like:

  • Denver Public Schools: Partnered with the district on an energy savings performance contract to upgrade critical systems and add 5MW of solar across 17 schools totaling more than 3.8 million square feet. The project continues to deliver $1.5 million in annual utility and operations and maintenance cost savings each year.
  • Howard County, Arkansas: Installed a 308kW solar array coupled with energy upgrades and retrofits that bring the county close to net-zero energy. The county will generate as much energy each year as it consumes at zero cost premium to taxpayers.
  • Salt Lake City School District: Partnering with the district in its goal of reaching clean, renewable electricity by 2030 and overall carbon neutrality by 2040. The project will yield a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by electrifying two elementary schools and installing more than 1MW of solar power at six schools.
  • Winona State University, Winona, Minn.: Finishing a solar energy project that will result in a 23.8% reduction in utility costs and a total savings of $26 million over the project’s 25-year lifetime.
  • Northwest Colorado regional government partnership: Completed 13 new solar arrays constructed across eight local government agencies throughout Northwest Colorado. This collaboration supports the state’s goal to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040.
  • Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Wash.: Targeted to be the first International Living Future Institute certified zero-carbon arena in the world thanks to McKinstry-installed photovoltaics that provide more than 1.4 million kWh of annual renewable electricity and 31,000 metric tons of carbon offset over the project’s lifetime
  • The Catalyst Building, Spokane, Wash.: Part of the South Landing Living Laboratory, the Catalyst Building employs a variety of innovative technologies and solutions, such as cross-laminated timber, daylighting and air sealing, to hit zero-energy and zero-carbon targets. Featuring a rooftop solar array that generates approximately 300,000kWh each year, the building’s design ensures it remains functional without power. The Catalyst Building is on target to become one of the largest zero-carbon and zero-energy buildings ever certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

Now a top provider in the commercial solar and battery energy storage market, McKinstry remains dedicated to building trust with clients using thoughtful, comprehensive solutions tailored to client needs and desired outcomes.

McKinstry Director of Project Development Heath Mackay shares, “We collaborate with our customers to holistically assess technology and project finance solutions, which results in projects that truly meet their long-term sustainability and economic objectives. By approaching projects with the focus squarely on the client and their goals, we offer something unique in the market.”

Beyond its work on behalf of clients across the U.S. to chart the course for a zero-carbon future, McKinstry was also one of the first organizations to sign The Climate Pledge co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. The company has committed to reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025 and achieving net-zero-carbon by 2030.

Learn more about how McKinstry provides additional value and savings to maximize the economic and environmental impact of solar and storage projects.


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