Edison Power Constructors is changing the way utilities are installed.
Edison Power Constructors is changing the way electrical transmission infrastructure is delivered in communities throughout the United States. Gone are the days of tearing up land and disrupting communities to install foundations for utility structures. Instead, Edison Power sets up alternative foundations in areas with rugged terrain to eliminate as much of a carbon footprint as possible for its utility clients.
“Typically what happens is you’ll install a structure and bring in heavy equipment to build a power foundation or transmission structure in environmentally sensitive or pristine area, which tears up a bunch of things,” says Mike Stefanik, president of Edison Power Constructors. “We’re teamed up with a nationally recognized engineering firm to design methods through our helicopter operations that could be installed in a manner that would alleviate or minimize the environmental and personal property impact.”
PLH Group Inc. launched Edison Power Constructors Inc. in Phoenix in 2013 to deliver infrastructure services in the areas of electric transmission, substation and distribution initially in the western United States power market and is now rapidly expanding throughout the United States, with plans to enter the Canadian market in the next several years. The company constructs and services highvoltage transmission lines, distribution and substations for the United States’ largest utilities, regional cooperatives, renewable energy developers, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers.
Despite being a startup that is just over a year old, senior management and field management bring a wealth of experience from the electric power industry from operations throughout North America. For example, Stefanik has 33 years of field, supervisory and management experience across a wide range of design, construction and maintenance of medium/heavy transmission and switchyard/substation projects throughout North America.
As a subsidiary of PLH Group, Edison Power Constructors is also well-positioned for growth throughout North America. PLH Group is backed by Energy Capital Partners, which is a private equity firm with more than $13 billion in capital commitments.
The company also is teaming up with multiple helicopter companies throughout North America to deliver environmentally compatible power line installations.
“We’re in the process to get something completed by the end of the year,” Stefanik says. “As for helicopter operations, we already have that pretty well laid out.”
Communication is Key
No matter how a power company plans to deliver utilities in a new region, Stefanik says keeping communities abreast of what is happening in residents’ backyards is important. The old way of conducting business simply does not fly anymore.
“What used to happen is utilities would design projects, get the lowest qualified price. Then the successful contractor would do all they can to maximize profit, which at times is not in the best interest of the community,” Stefanik says. “What we see is more of a trend toward a community friendly approach. We are shaking the industry up and changing the old paradigms.”
Today, companies like Edison Power do all they can to maintain open collaboration between utilities and communities to build lines that involve the community as well as overall reducing cost and lasting impact.
“We do what we can to lessen the footprint and keep the community in mind from an economic development standpoint,” Stefanik says. “We train people so they are excited about the community – we’re here to do service to the community.”
To maintain community relations, Edison Power will participate in town hall meetings as well as give tours of job sites for residents. The company also will show residents the equipment it uses on these jobs, so everyone has an idea of what it is doing.
“This greatly helps in getting buy in from community leaders and avoid adverse relationships at all costs,” Stefanik adds. “Bottom-line, we take the extra step in working with all stake-holders, internal and external to the project.
Having the financial backing of a well-financed parent company is one thing, but having the experience and know-how to deliver successful projects is a must. Edison Power is one of a handful of contractors that combine these resources with a collaborative approach with residents of the communities where it works.
“Our core values are deep involvement and collaboration with the communities where we are building these lines,” Stefanik says. “We’re highly interested in making sure everybody is happy with what we’re doing.
“We don’t want to leave a negative taste in anyone’s mouths when we get down there,” Stefanik adds.
With its business model firmly established and financial strength from PLH Group, Stefanik believes Edison Power is in position to continue on the same growth pattern throughout North America. The company is considering opening offices in the central part of the United States, and it is currently active with 45 different utilities throughout the country.
“We made a tremendous impact in the last year across the country,” Stefanik says. “We’re not interested in being the largest contractor in North America. We definitely want to be No. 1 in service in the community and doing all we can to provide support. We want to be the most respected.”