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Billion-Dollar Projects Continue to Dominate Construction Scene

Nov. 2, 2023
Construction of utility projects, data centers and EV battery and vehicle factories is showing no sign of slowing down.

Although some construction economists expect project spending to cool down over the next few months, the momentum has not yet downshifted.

According to an Electrical Marketing analysis of construction projects topping $100 million in total contract value that have entered the pipeline over the last three months, at least 12 projects topping $1 billion are either in the planning process or recently broke ground. When you consider that the electrical portion of a typical construction project is roughly 10%, projects of this size can spark a sizeable electrical spend on products and services.

Several large utility transmission lines that broke ground recently led EM’s list of 50 new construction projects. The $4.5-billion Sun Zia transmission line being built on Arizona and New Mexico and the $3.5-billion TransWest transmission project that will run through Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming will serve the increasing power demands of those regions. They are prime examples of the new focus on grid modernization and expansion now being funded in part by federal spending on infrastructure projects.

As has been the case over the past few years, construction of at least four EV vehicle or battery plants hit the market recently, including the $2-billion VinFast plant that broke ground this August in New Hill, NC; the $1.2-billion American Battery plant in Tucson, AZ; the $1.5 billion Clayco plant in Terre Haute, IN: and the $400-million ICL EV battery plant now being built in St. Louis.

Data centers also continue to rank amongst the nation’s largest construction projects, and no less than three billion-dollar projects broke ground in either September or October, as well as two smaller facilities. DC BLOX announced plans in October for a $1.2-billion data center campus in Douglasville, GA; and Microsoft announced plans for a $1-billion data center in Rome, GA, and broke ground on a $1-billion data center in Mount Pleasant, WI. The $322-million Phase 5 of the Northern Virginia Gateway Data Center in Fredericksburg, VA, entered the planning stage in September, and the $230-million Waterford Millstone Data Center also broke ground in Waterford, CT, in September.

Another large project of note that made construction news was the $2-billion John Glenn Columbus Airport that will break ground. Other airport work now underway is $1.4-billion Midfield Satellite Concourse at LAX in Los Angeles; the $400-million expansion of the Fort Lauderdale, FL, airport; and the $400-million Asheville Airport expansion project in Asheville, NC.

While EM’s editors haven’t seen as much multi-family construction in recent months, a $510-million project is in the planning stage on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago — Related Midwest’s 72-story apartment towers with 1,110 units.

Click here to download EM’s database of projects