December 2011

The Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council
News Update
In This Issue
Sonoran Solar Energy Project Approved
New 19MW Solar Facility to be Built in Queen Creek
APS to build solar plant in east Yuma
NADBank takes a shine to solar park
Tucson tech: TEP plan would join solar
Canadian power company set to tap Arizona sun
TEP offers power-line route for Rosemont
Marriott planned for downtown Phoenix; changes for Wyndham
UA Cancer Center, St. Joe's detail Phoenix plans
Gila River plans casino upgrades, new hotel
Local-hire plan unlikely to make much difference
Why not have a local-hire rule?

Arizona Building Trades Elected Officials

President: Martin "Buzz" Murphy

Ironworkers 75  

602-268-1449 Ext. 11 


Vice President: Dean Wine

IBEW 640



Secretary Treasurer: Dion Abril

Sheet Metal 359



Trustee: Les Andree

Sprinkler Fitters 669

(520) 324-0606 

Trustee: Tom Hardie

Cement Masons 394



Trustee: Dale Medley

Asbestos Workers 73 



Sgt. at Arms: Randy Storr

Elevator Constructors 140





3117 North 16th Street Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016  


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Arizona Building Trades Members

(Click members to visit their websites)

Arizona Cement Masons, Local 394

Arizona Pipe Trades, Local 469

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 3

Iron Workers, Local 75

Insulators & Asbestos Workers, Local 73

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local 627

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 518

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 570

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 640

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 104

International Union of Elevator Constructors, Local 140

International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 428

International Union of Painters, Local 86

Laborers International Union of North America, Local 383

Road Sprinkler Fitters, Local Union 669

Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local 359

United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, Local 135

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AZ BTC News Update  

Sonoran Solar Energy Project Approved
December 20, 2011BLM Logo

PHOENIX, AZ - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved the Sonoran Solar Energy Project, which will be built on public lands near Buckeye in Maricopa County, Arizona.


The 300-megawatt project is expected to provide enough energy when operating at full capacity to power 90,000 homes.  At the peak of construction, 358 people will be employed. When operational, the plant will employ 16 full-time workers.


"We have made steady and swift progress in carrying out President Obama's initiative for a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands," Salazar said. "We have green-lighted 25 projects in the last two years, including solar, wind, and geothermal facilities that are generating good jobs, strengthening local economies and laying the foundation for a sustainable energy future.  Together, these projects will produce the clean-energy equivalent of nearly 18 coal-fired power plants, so what's happening here is nothing short of a renewable energy revolution."


New 19MW Solar Facility to be Built in Queen Creek

December 14, 2011Solar 3

ENR Southwest 


juwi solar Inc., or JSI, a developer and engineering, procurement and construction, or EPC, contractor of solar power plants, and Salt River Project, have signed a 20 year power purchase agreement, or PPA, for 19MW of solar photovoltaic energy from a facility to be built in Queen Creek. SRP will purchase all of the solar energy produced at the Queen Creek power plant, which is expected to be online by the end of 2012.


The plant will utilize approximately 90,000 photovoltaic modules mounted on a single-axis tracking system that follows the sun. The solar power generated by the project will offset approximately 21,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year, the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road. The plant will require about 140 acres of land and will create approximately 150 jobs during the construction of the project.


 Click here to read more 

APS to build solar plant in east YumaAPS

November 22, 2011

Yuma Sun 


Arizona Public Service plans to develop a new solar plant in Yuma that will provide 17 megawatts of power, enough for 4,250 homes.


APS Vice President of Energy Delivery Daniel Froetscher said while in Yuma Tuesday that APS is seeking proposals from solar developers and installers to build a solar photovoltaic facility.


"We are soliciting bids. Once developed, the developer will turnkey it over to APS."


The plant site will be in east Yuma on property provided by the utility company. It consists of 357 acres, with about 200 acres designated for development of the 17-megawatt facility.


 Click here to read more 

NADBank takes a shine to solar park

Institution to lend $88.5 million to Arizona project. Solar 3


The San Antonio-based North American Development Bank said Friday it will lend up to $88.5 million to California-based SunEdison to build a 20-megawatt solar energy park in Picture Rocks, Ariz.


The SunEdison project will supply power to about 3,500 homes in the Tucson, Ariz., area. The loan will be the largest, and second, solar project financed by the NADBank, which in the past has specialized in financing water, sewer, road paving and landfill projects. Additional border-zone solar projects are in line for NADBank financing, said bank spokesman Juan Antonio Flores.


SunEdison is a subsidiary of Missouri-based MEMC Electronic Materials Inc.


 Click here to read more 

Tucson tech: TEP plan would join solar, coal-fired plant
December 27, 2011TEP logo
Arizona Daily Star

At its power plant along Interstate 10 on the south side, Tucson Electric Power Co. is dismantling a massive old fuel-oil storage tank to make room for a promising renewable-energy project.


The work, visible from the freeway, could be seen as a symbol of the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy - but it's really an object lesson in how they can work together.


TEP is dismantling a fuel-oil storage facility no longer in use at the mainly coal-fired H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station to make room for a proposed project with Areva Solar that would be among the first to use solar thermal technology to augment steam generation at the plant.


TEP hasn't widely publicized its project with the renewable-energy subsidiary of French energy giant Areva, since the companies have yet to finalize a deal.


Canadian power company set to tap Arizona sun

December 9, 2011Electric Grid

The Vancouver Sun 


EDMONTON - In Sun Valley west of Phoenix, Edmonton-based Capital Power is chasing the sun with plans for 1,100 hectares of solar collectors that could supply up to 420 megawatts of power to the state grid.


The empty desert land is contracted, the application for transmission connections has been filed and most residents are cheering a green project that will provide jobs and tax revenue, says the project's Arizona-based manager.


And being Canadian is not a problem.


"Rather than nationality, people are more concerned with the question 'is this company real?' " said John Cordes.


 Click here to read more 

TEP offers power-line route for Rosemont

December 13, 2011Rosemont Copper 

The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson 


A proposed power line for the Rosemont Mine would run about 13 miles, cost $10.4 million and tower 75 to 150 feet high from the Sahuarita area to the Santa Rita Mountains, Tucson Electric Power officials said at a public hearing Monday.


A TEP official and a biological consultant made opening pitches for that power line alternative -- their choice of five possible routes -- as the best overall choice at a daylong meeting before a committee for the Arizona Corporation Commission. It kicked off a contentious and possibly lengthy discussion.


Rosemont Copper, a coalition of environmental groups, the Tohono O'Odham Nation and two community activists who often fight power lines, Elizabeth Webb of Vail and Marshall Magruder of Tubac, have been named intervenors. They can cross-examine witnesses for both sides. A decision is expected by week's end but could be put off until January, said committee chair John Foreman.


Marriott planned for downtown Phoenix; changes for Wyndham

November 25, 2011Marriot logo

Phoenix Business Journal 


A California hotel company and Marriott International   are moving forward with a 280-room urban concept hotel at Central Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Phoenix.


Patty Johnson, CEO of Connections Marketing & Communications, said construction could start as early as next year. The project is going through the city's planning and zoning approval process.


The hotel will be part of redevelopment efforts at the Luhrs Tower. Irvine, Calif.-based Hansji Hotels has been looking to redevelop the Luhrs buildings, which are a few blocks west of US Airways Center   and south of the new CityScape development.


UA Cancer Center, St. Joe's detail Phoenix plans

December 5, 2011

Phoenix Business Journal hospital photos


The University of Arizona Cancer Center and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have solidified plans for a new $135 million cancer treatment and research complex in Phoenix.


Originally, when UA planned to build a cancer center on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus several years ago, Banner Health agreed to be its partner. But the deal broke off because the two parties couldn't agree on Banner's financial contributions. Now a new deal has been worked out with Banner's rival, St. Joseph's, which is owned by San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West.


The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees UA, endorsed the affiliation at its Dec. 2 meeting in Tucson. It approves financing for the construction of the $135 million cancer facility. Construction of the 250,000-square-foot outpatient clinic on the northwest corner of Filmore and Seventh streets on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus is set to begin in 2012.

Gila River plans casino upgrades, new hotel
December 14, 2011construction helmet and permitting
Phoenix Business Journal

The Gila River Indian Community   will invest $160 million to reconstruct and upgrade two of its casinos in the Phoenix area.


The projects are expected to create 700 temporary construction jobs and 400 additional full-time jobs, according to Anthony Villareal, the chairman of the Gila River Indian Community's Casino Expansion Owner's Team. The two projects are expected to take 18 months.


The first project is the $135 million reconstruction of the Vee Quiva Casino, located on 51st Avenue and Baseline Road in the West Valley. The new 175,000-square-foot casino will include a 90-room hotel. The second project will add a 130-room hotel, conference center and restaurant to Lone Butte Casino near Loop 202 and South Kyrene Road in the East Valley. That investment is $25 million.


"This has been part of a multi-year plan to update our gaming facilities," Villareal said. "Wild Horse Pass is complete, Lone Butte is getting a hotel and conference center, and now Vee Quiva is on deck."


Expert: Fate of Glendale casino hinges on one legal interpretation

December 28, 2011Tohono O'Odham Nation

Arizona Capitol Times 


The law has been on the side of the Tohono O'odham Nation so far this year, but the core legal issue the tribe is relying on to build a casino on a plot of land in unincorporated Maricopa County near Glendale is still unsettled by the courts.


And an expert on Indian law and gaming law believes that the issue will eventually put an end to the planned casino.


"I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd think the odds were against this casino opening," said Professor Robert Clinton of Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. "Stranger things have happened, but the odds are against it."


Clinton said there is a strong argument that the land near Glendale doesn't meet any of the exceptions defined in federal gaming regulations that allow a tribe to open a casino on land purchased after the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act became law.

Local-hire plan unlikely to make much difference
November 29, 2011construction helmet and permitting
Arizona Daily Star

As far as sentiment and intention go, we certainly appreciate the idea of hiring more local workers for city-funded projects.


But we're not convinced a recent proposal by City Council members Regina Romero and Richard Fimbres would do much of anything to that effect.


With unemployment for the Tucson region stuck at 8 percent, and a moribund building industry crippled by foreclosures and vacancies, Romero and Fimbres have suggested the city require contractors building city projects to hire more local workers, the Star's Rhonda Bodfield recently reported.


"We see construction workers in the city of Tucson unemployed, underemployed, losing their homes, losing their cars - and who have a thirst to go back to work," Romero said.


Why not have a local-hire rule?
December 7, 2011construction helmet and permitting
Richard Fimbres Special To The Arizona Daily Star

In regard to your Nov. 29 editorial, "Local-hire plan unlikely to make much difference," I would like to provide further information about this agenda item considered by my colleagues on the council.


What council member Regina Romero and I brought forward for consideration by the mayor and council on Nov. 22 was no proposal, but a concept of the idea of a "local hire" ordinance. Nowhere in the agenda materials was there a proposal for consideration by the mayor and council.


This mayor and council have worked to ensure the importance of getting local people back to work. They have always encouraged the use of Tucson firms that employ local residents. This has been vital in the effort to turn the economy around in Tucson.


Torres Consulting and Law Group