Orbital Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: OEG), today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Orbital Solar Services (“OSS”), a leader in utility-scale solar power generation facilities, has been named the engineering, procurement, and construction (“EPC”) company “of choice” for the newly-formed Black Sunrise Half Century Fund.
As announced by Akon last Wednesday at President Biden’s “Clean Energy for America” Inaugural Ball (Clean Energy Ball), OSS is partnering with Akon, Akon Lighting America (Akon Lighting), and the Black Sunrise Half Century Fund to decommission coal-fired power plants throughout the United States and convert them into utility-scale solar energy farms. OSS is responsible for providing full EPC services for these solar facilities, beginning in the second quarter of 2021.
The Black Sunrise Fund (“BSF” or the “Fund”) was created in conjunction with Akon Lighting America, a leading developer of clean energy projects across the globe, to bring large scale solar power to North America by remediating now redundant coal facilities and converting the site into a utility scale solar farm, producing clean energy. Over the next three years, BSF expects to build over 1 gigawatt of solar power with a beginning investment of $725 million.
In selecting OSS and Orbital Energy Group as its EPC company of choice, BSF considered OSS’s technical, innovation and support capabilities. This includes OSS’s proven track record of success in executing over 40 solar projects in excess of 600 megawatts, with more than 50 years combined experience in the delivery and management of both commercial and renewable energy construction projects.
OSS’s CEO, Brandon Martin, stated, “We are now entering a new age of solar development in our nation. Through this partnership with the Black Sunrise Fund and Akon Lighting America, we are committed to fostering greater diversity within the industry, ensuring that people of color and minority-run businesses have ample opportunities to join in this expansion.”
Jim O’Neil, Orbital Energy Group’s Vice-Chairman & CEO, commented, “We are proud to be a part of this exciting new venture. This type of socially responsible and environmentally friendly enterprise proves that corporate America can ‘do well by doing good.’ These utility-scale projects, along with planned follow-on developments will enhance our presence in the renewable/alternative energy marketplace well into 2021 and beyond.”
Mr. O’Neil added, “As part of diversifying into an energy infrastructure service provider, one of our priorities is to elevate our environmental, social and governance efforts. Bringing greater diversity and opportunities to under-represented minorities in this industry is a key part of this strategy. This undertaking is exactly the type of program that can radically change the energy industry for the better and we are grateful to be a part of it.”
Akon announced the collaboration between OSS, BSF, and Akon Lighting America during his opening remarks at the “Clean Energy for America” Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, last Wednesday following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. A video of those remarks can be accessed through the ‘News’ page of the Orbital Energy website at www.orbitalenergygroup.com.
Commenting on the announcement, Akon stated, “This joint venture between Orbital Solar and the Black Sunrise Fund is the first of many energy projects that will systemically change energy infrastructure in North America – opening up significant opportunities for black entrepreneurs and black-owned companies throughout the industry. It furthers my commitment to diversify this industry while increasing the opportunities and quality of life for people in need around the world. I look forward to working with Brandon Martin, his team, and the entire Orbital Energy Group to change the face of energy management, infrastructure, production, and delivery throughout the nation.”
On January 12, 2021, Orbital Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: OEG) announced the launch of a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation Group, a drilled shaft foundation construction company that specializes in providing services to the electric transmission and substation, industrial, communication towers and disaster restoration market sectors, with expertise in water, marsh and rock terrains.
Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Eclipse team is renowned for its expertise in successfully executing projects in difficult environments, such as water, marsh, or rock terrains. Eclipse utilizes amphibious equipment and vibratory caissons to construct up to 16-foot diameter shafts at depths greater than 80 ft in marshland and deeper waters, as well as working from barges, and also has the expertise and equipment to successfully drill through hard rock and granite. Eclipse’s services include:
Furnishing and installing rebar cages and anchor bolt cages,
Setting structures with its fleet of specialized hydraulic cranes.
Jim O’Neil, Orbital Energy Group’s vice-chairman and CEO, said, “There is a growing need for experienced foundation drilling contractors to help upgrade and expand the energy and telecommunication infrastructure across the Southern U.S. Eclipse’s management boasts 30 years of industry experience, with an excellent working record and a highly qualified staff. Eclipse has significant experience drilling projects in extremely difficult terrain, which differentiates their capabilities from others in the industry. The Eclipse team has established relationships with engineers and utility owners that share a common goal, completing vital energy projects safely and on time and budget.”
Eclipse is led by president Michael Cutrone, a recognized leader in drilled shaft foundations, and who has nearly 30 years of experience in the operation and management of companies serving electric power, telecommunications, and industrial customers.
“Eclipse prioritizes safety, quality and client service to provide ongoing maintenance to aging power lines and constructing new projects as the grid is reconfigured to serve new power sources, such as renewables and expanded to serve the growth of metropolitan areas in the southern U.S.,” said Eclipse president Michael Cutrone. “Additionally, the southern states are vulnerable to severe storms, such as hurricanes, and utility customers are focused on hardening their electric power systems to maximize the reliability of power delivery to their customers. Eclipse partners with EPC companies to provide drilled shaft foundation solutions in an environment where our services are in high demand.”
“The addition of Eclipse to our OEG platform, including; Powerline Services, Foundation Services, Solar Services, Gas Systems and Renewable Gas Solutions, enhances our overall service offerings while serving as a valuable asset to many of our other companies where synergies exist,” said Nicholas Clough, OEG operations director. “Mike Cutrone’s stellar industry reputation precedes him. We are proud to welcome him to our team and thrilled that OEG has put itself in position to attract talent on the highest level to represent our company and serve our customers.”