Minnesota Renewable Energy Companies

Minnesota Renewable Energy Companies – Just off Main Street in Avon, a sleepy town in the middle of Stearns County, is a fourth-generation company with experience building infrastructure that leads America.

A century ago, the company helped build the Great Northern Railway, the post-World War II state and interstate highway system, and now some of the largest and most complex energy projects on the continent.

Minnesota Renewable Energy Companies

Now, great-grandson Scott Blattner, the company’s president, has completed the latest transition, shifting focus to D.H. Blattner & Sons transitioned into a new sister company, Blattner Energy, which became a national leader as a specialist renewable energy contractor. in the construction of wind farms, solar farms and energy storage infrastructure.

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“We have limited resources — we’re either going to build a railroad or we’re going to build a wind farm,” Blattner said. “You can be a jack of all trades and a master of none — and we just didn’t want to do that.

The company now has more than 450 wind and solar projects and is celebrating a milestone of 50,000 megawatts of renewable energy generation. The company expects to build a third of all U.S. wind projects this year.

“We’re definitely in a good place for the business going forward,” Blattner said. “I see it as an energy revolution. You can’t look at it any other way.”

The company, which remains majority-owned by members of the Blattner family, went through a crisis two decades ago when the price of gold and copper fell and profits from mining and raw materials fell.

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“In the late 1990s, we were really on our knees and wondering if we should continue the business,” Scott Blattner said. β€œIt took a lot of humility to survive.

Blattner, 61, said his executive team did a lot of soul-searching and kept coming back to wind power. In the early 2000s, the company switched completely to wind power.

“We believed that one day [the wind] would get to where it is today, but I don’t know if we appreciated or understood its power back then,” Blattner said.

Eliminating rail operations and focusing solely on utility-scale wind farms is one way to give the company a competitive advantage.

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“It puts us at a greater risk for these markets, but we thought it was a fair risk,” Blattner said.

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Only five major companies are doing this in the United States, said Peder Mewis, western regional policy manager for the Clean Grid Alliance, an organization that supports renewable energy developers and helps shape state energy policy.

“They are the two biggest players in the industry,” Mewis said. “They did a really good job of carving out the spaces in that area.”

In 2005 coal accounted for about 76% of the energy in the Midcontinent Power Grid, which supplies power to 15 states and Canada. Until 2018 coal in the grid record fell to 47%, while wind and solar accounted for 8%.

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The organization predicts that by 2030 renewables will eclipse coal, with wind and solar accounting for 31% and coal for just 27% of grid power.

With renewable energy becoming as cost-effective or more cost-effective than coal β€” even without subsidies β€” the only thing holding back the growth of wind and solar is transmission system constraints, Mewis said.

“We’re hitting a brick wall where there just isn’t enough room in the system to build more renewable energy projects,” he said.

“Look at corporate buyers β€” they’re an important part of the market because their employees and customers want to see that,” Blattner said.

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Blattner predicts that the next two decades will be ripe for further growth, especially as the company makes another transition: shifting much of its work from wind projects to solar in response to market demand.

Blattner employs about 350 people at its Avon headquarters and, depending on the season, between 3,000 and 5,000 daily workers at project sites around the country, according to Christine Huston, Blattner’s director of communications.

Huston said the privately held company does not want to share its annual revenue, but shared recent business profiles that show revenue growth as the company moves to wind: from about $125 million to . USD in 2001 up to USD 622 million in 2008 and USD 1.35 billion in 2015 Each project developed by Blattner, Huston added, is limited to USD 100 million.

To celebrate the milestone of 50,000 megawatts of renewable energy, the company installed a solar-powered art installation on the Lake Wobegon Trail in Avon and helped fund new lights in St. In the center of the cloud.

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“It means a lot more than a number,” Huston said of the milestone. “It definitely means the number of projects we’ve worked on, but it also means the number of communities we’ve worked in and given back, whether it’s creating construction jobs [or] just bringing more savings.” benefits, especially for rural communities, because that’s where many of our projects are built.”

Blattner started working on project sites when he was 12 years old, and they feel like home.

“This is where my heart is – working with people in this field. It is camaraderie,” he said. “I think there is something to be created, stand up and say, ‘We have achieved this.’ It always makes me so happy.”

“It’s a bit bittersweet for us because we just never imagined that we would put together a business model that would have this kind of energy and power,” he said. – This is a great proof for the people of our organization.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Blattner in the photo caption; should say that they all work for the company.

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