Archive for August, 2018

Video Series: We Are Egan Plumbers

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

The spotlight is on Egan’s Plumbers this month as we continue our trade video series!

In case you’ve missed any of our previously featured trades, all of them can be found here: Millwrights, Iron Workers, Glaziers, Pipefitters, Limited Energy Technicians, Sheet Metal Workers, Controls Electricians, Glassworkers, and Operating Engineers.

Evolving With Clean Energy

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018


The explosion of the solar industry started after the 2013 Energy Omnibus Bill which mandated large utilities in the state to produce 1.5% of their electricity from solar power by 2020 and allowed for community solar array gardens. This bill also gave consumers an option to utilize solar farms for a portion of their electricity, so the reliance and demand for more solar panel installation and ground-mounted solar arrays skyrocketed.

Egan, having previous experience with the installation of solar panels on high-rise buildings, shopping centers, medical facilities, and business park campuses, recognized the opportunity and utilized our electrical expertise in a way we had never before – installing ground-mounted systems in fields, valleys, and swamps around Minnesota.

“We received a call to complete a 9 Megawatts (MW) solar panel farm in eight weeks, and we knew it was our chance to show what we can do and do it well,” said Carrie Thompson, Egan Company Project Manager.


Egan’s solar site projects vary in size, location, time of year, and type of solar panels – fixed-tilt or tracking. “Tracking” solar panels track the sun’s progress across the sky throughout the day, whereas the fixed-tilt solar panels stay in place. Last summer, 150 Egan electricians were on the 65-acre St. Joseph Solar Farm project to install 28,188 fixed-tilt solar panels.

This was a tight-deadline project, and Egan performed better than we thought possible. We had a contractual obligation to complete the community solar project in 40 days and Egan stepped up to complete the project on time. – Jamie Borell, IPS Solar Chief Operating Officer


The St. Joseph Solar Site produces 9 MW of electricity that Xcel Energy distributes to local subscribers of its solar garden program, all of which happen to be local school districts.
Egan had the role of lead contractor on this project and utilized both high-voltage and low-voltage electricians for all aspects of the process. Materials were prefabricated in our shop that provided safe working conditions and a faster schedule.

The 196 inverters were pre-mounted on a strut assembly (or racking system) and underground conduit stub-ups were prefabricated before going on site in St. Joseph.


Egan technicians continue to install solar panels year-round, and have installed ground mounts in all weather conditions. The safety of our employees remains our number one priority throughout every project, and Egan has taken measures to provide extra in the less than ideal circumstances — from providing hand warmers and cold-weather approved boots to sunscreen and rain suits.

The installation process also has certain risk factors – the solar panels are actively producing electricity as soon as they’re exposed to the sun, and a solar array farm is erected with multiple moving parts.

“Over the last two years, we’ve completed a large number of solar panel projects in all weather conditions on all types of terrain,” said Thompson. “We’re excited to continue to partner with our customers on these renewable energy projects.

Finance & Commerce – 2017 Top Projects

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Every year, Finance & Commerce recognizes the top construction projects in Minnesota. Congratulations to all of the teams who have been recognized for their 2017 projects – we’re honored to partner with you and help create these impressive buildings.

Minnesota Children’s Museum

“One of the goals of this project was to bring the fun of the building forward and make it more visible to passersby and visitors.”

Egan services provided: interior storefront, curtainwall and entrances, hollow metal glazing, an automatic slider, auto operators, mirrors, and a manual sliding mall front

Read more about this Top Project

The Minneapolis Armory

“[This building] has been transformed from a decaying structure into a mid-size indoor performance space, occupying a niche between more intimate venues like First Avenue and cavernous arenas like Target Center.”

Egan services provided: industrial controls, digital antenna systems (DAS)

Read more about this Top Project

Target Center Renovation

“Just in time to greet the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx — and the newly ascendant Timberwolves — the newly renovated Target Center opened its doors last October.”

Egan services provided: full service network replacement

Read more about this Top Project

Millwright Building/Ryan Companies US Inc. Office

“The Millwright’s design incorporates tumbled brickwork, rusted steel columns, polished concrete and rolled steel panels reminiscent of the historic Mill District across the street and the nearby North Loop warehouse district.”

Egan’s services provided: electrical, building automation, service

Read more about this Top Project

Hiring Heroes

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

For many active duty military members, transitioning out of the service can be daunting. Finding housing, employment, and acclimating back into the routine of daily life is a huge hurdle to overcome. And, although disciplined and highly-trained, many military members still struggle with unemployment.

To help ease this process and address the growing shortage for skilled construction workers, the United Association Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program was created. This 18-week program prepares active-duty military members to leave the service with sought after skills that can lead to lifelong careers in the increasingly high-demand pipe trades.

Specifically, the nationally recognized program trains and transforms heroes into Union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Welders, and Service Technicians.

Ricky Martagon, Egan Company Pipefitter Apprentice, first heard about VIP at an exit seminar he attended was transitioning out of the United States Marine Corps.

Martagon served in the Marines for four years prior to joining Egan and obtained the rank of E5 Sergeant, as well as Shop Chief for his platoon. Though an admirable rank, he’s the first to admit he continually reminds himself his previous title now holds no “authority” on the construction site.

“At times, it is a little confusing for me, but a lot of the habits from the military are still very transferable to my new career,” Martagon said. “I still would do them every day with or without rank.”

Nonetheless, the shift from protecting the country to helping build it has been a natural fit for Martagon and 1,000+ other veterans that have gone through the VIP program since 2008.

“My experience [with VIP] couldn’t have been any better. The people were great, and the instructors were even better,” said Martagon, “By the time we finished the program, we were all good friends. I strongly encourage more service men and women to look into the course.”

Martagon has been with Egan since early this year and is one of two VIP pipefitters currently with the company.

Safe Subcontractor of the Year Awarded by Ryan Companies

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Safety continually shapes how we do our job at Egan. Every day, on every job, safety remains the highest priority.

However, this culture of safety didn’t happen overnight, on one project, or in one year. It’s been built on a commitment spanning across decades. A commitment we are proud to share with other industry leaders who value safety as much as we do.

Recently, Ryan Companies recognized Egan and named us its 2017 Safe Subcontractor of the Year. This award was voted on by Field Managers and Project Managers at Ryan Companies and was based on various criteria—from safety program enforcement to creative solutions for safety.

We are honored to have received this award – and thankful for the generous donation Ryan Companies made to Toys for Tots on Egan’s behalf as part of the recognition.


Pictured above (L to R):
Scott Beron, Ryan Companies
John Gaddini, Ryan Companies
Nick Ravetto, Egan Company Safety Coordinator
Luke Piram, Egan Company Project Manager
John Reber, Egan Company Vice President

Donating to a Safer Ride

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Working safely is more than a core value at Egan. For most, it’s a habit that extends beyond the time spent on the jobsite or in the office – and into our passions that make each one of us unique.

For Tim Mandeville, Egan Electrical Journeyman, his time away from work is often spent with the Wild Prairie H.O.G. Chapter – a group of Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts who ride and volunteer around the Twin Cities. The group commonly visits the Ronald McDonald House and the Minneapolis VA Hospital, among other organizations.

As a craftsperson and trained safety leader, Mandeville recently had an idea to increase the safety of all the men and women who ride in the chapter. His push to further safety for the group included the addition of a small first-aid kit to each of the bikes.

“Egan’s safety culture has changed the way I look at a lot of situations outside of work,” said Mandeville. “I always take a moment to ask myself what could go wrong before jumping into a task. It’s the way I’m accustomed to doing things now and that’s where this idea came from.”

However, as a nonprofit, the group did not have the funding to supply a kit for every bike. To help Mandeville’s effort, Egan Company donated 50 first-aid kits to help create a safer ride.

“For me, safety is always in the back of my mind because of my work and training with Egan. It’s a good feeling to know I can share a small piece of this with my fellow bikers,” said Mandeville. “The chapter couldn’t be more grateful for this donation.”

To Drive or to be Driven?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Whether we’re ready or not, autonomous vehicles are becoming less like fictional stories and more versed into our reality. Although Minnesota doesn’t currently have driverless vehicles on its roadways, MnDOT is actively working on a pilot project to prepare for this future mode of transportation when it arrives.

Earlier this year, Roger Walz, Egan Company Technology Systems Manager, was invited to participate in this pilot project. As the current President of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) of Minnesota, Walz was among 11 other people invited to take the driverless vehicle for a ride.

This particular driverless shuttle was fully electric, held up to 12 passengers (six seated and six standing), had no steering wheel, and operated based on pre-mapped lidar and GPS guided routes. Pedal to the metal it could drive at 25mph and was fully equipped with sensors to stop when a person or object was in front of it – which was demonstrated to the group.

The goal for the group was to simply experience the vehicle, provide feedback, and ask questions. This particular phase of the pilot project was to test and monitor the technology during the cold, wintry conditions of Minnesota.

“Before MnDOT can bring autonomous technology to the Twin Cities, many things would need to change,” said Walz. “And, the biggest changes would be within our roadway infrastructure.” 

Adopting driverless technology implies that the current technology within our roadway infrastructure would need to be compatible to move these vehicles. Everything from roadway lighting, traffic signals, fiber optic signage, loop detectors, parking ramps, and so much more would need to function with this technology.

“The hope is that Egan’s role could include an opportunity to furnish and install this electrical- and technology-based infrastructure,” said Walz. “As a company, we’ve always demonstrated an innovative, proactive attitude to embrace new technology and adapt with our marketplace.”

Nonetheless, it’s exciting to think about and consider where this technology will literally take us in the future. The possibilities are boundless. But, in the meantime, our regular vehicles will still be needed to get us from point A to point B.