Rising to the Top

By Anna Guy

From the Lower Churchill project in Newfoundland to Suncor’s Fort Hills in Alberta, Rising Edge Group has contributed to some of Canada’s most notable projects. The full-EPC contractor has contributed its expertise in the construction and commissioning of substations, generation plants, HVDC Stations, HV cable systems, overland transmission lines, and renewable energy.

Rising Edge is the vision of founder Nick Maher, who started the company from his basement in 2002. Maher put everything into Rising Edge Group—the first piece of testing equipment was purchased with the cash from his RRSPs. The risk paid off: within two years, Rising Edge had a foothold in the local construction market, eventually expanding to an Edmonton office, then a Panel Shop, an office in Regina, Saskatchewan, and so on.

Rising Edge’s expertise has also grown to include a wide array of services in the power generation, utilities, fabrication, and industrial industries. In recent years, Rising Edge has made a strong push to specialize in renewables and are now uniquely positioned to provide services in that
market. “From conceptual design through to commissioning, each aspect of your project is handled by trained industry specialists, resulting in a product that is complete, on-time, and on-budget,” says Troy Sharpe, VP, Business Development for Rising Edge Group.

Approximately 95 per cent of Rising Edge projects are in a Brownfield setting, such as the Enbridge L3 pipeline expansion project. Rising Edge is part of six sites along the pipeline, including Cromer, Odessa, Glenavon, Craik in Saskatchewan and West Souris and Richardson in Manitoba, having handled the construction and commissioning to expand each site to accommodate the new pipeline capacity.

Major New Facility

The years of hard work and steady growth has seen the company grow to over 260 employees, a quarter of whom have been with the company for more nearly a decade and a dozen who have been with the company 10 years or more. As a result of that hard work and loyalty, Rising Edge recently moved into a new head office that will bring the entire Calgary-based operation, including fleet facilities, under one roof. The move reflected ownership’s confidence in the company despite the depressed market in Alberta.

The new facility “allowed us to consolidate our entire operation, including our fleet, fabrication shop, engineering, document control, human resources, finance, project management, project controls, estimating team, and of course it offers a home-base for our construction and commissioning staffs,” says Sharpe. “This will create strength throughout the company, having a positive impact also on the operations of our companies in Edmonton, Saskatchewan, the Atlantic, California, and North Carolina.”

Wicehtowak Rising Edge Technologies

Recognizing an opportunity to work more in the community, specifically by increasing local participation and inclusion in their service areas, Rising Edge formed a new partnership with the business arm of George Gordon First Nation, calling it Wicehtowak Rising Edge Technologies LP, or WRETLP.
“WRETLP really was born from mutual recognition by George Gordon Developments Ltd., the business arm of the George Gordon First Nation, and Rising Edge that we could benefit the other to accomplish each of our goals,” says Sharpe. “George Gordon was motivated to do projects for the Nation on the Nation. They wanted to take a proactive and progressive approach to achieving that. As such, the goal of WRETLP is to bring project opportunities and prosperity to the George Gordon First Nation and Rising Edge Group.”

Rising Edge continually seeks out innovative and efficient ways to complete projects for their clients. A notably example is the team’s work on Capital Power’s Whitla Wind Project (Phase 1) in Bow Island, Alberta, a very exciting Capital Power renewables project with planned capacity of 201.6 MW.

“Renewable Energy is at the forefront of the energy industry and Rising Edge is one of the leading service providers when it comes to high Voltage Substations and Overhead and Underground Collector Systems for renewables projects,” says Sharpe. “With Whitla Wind, Rising Edge is completing a full-EPC for the substation, collector system and roads—engineering, procurement, management, construction, and commissioning.”

Sharpe says Rising Edge also has the operating authority on the substation until full generation, an aspect that contractors rarely have the opportunity to do. “Our scope includes the design, procurement, and build for the collector system as well as the civil work which includes roads and underground cabling,” says Sharpe. “This summer our crews will hit full stride and by the fourth quarter of the year, the project will begin commercial operation. For our team, everyone takes great pleasure seeing a project build from start to finish. There are few better feelings in this business.”

Proudly Albertan, Rising Edge is enjoying steady growth, now diversified substantially throughout Canada and into the United States. Going forward, the team is focusing its proven model on growing its Atlantic, North Carolina, and Californian divisions. “I think the best word for it is ‘reliability’,” says Sharpe, on why clients choose Rising Edge. “We deliver their projects safely. We deliver their projects aimed at the highest standards of quality in the industry, and we deliver their projects on-time and on-budget,” says Sharpe. “All of these things are engrained in everything we do and, as a result, our clients know they can rely on that level of excellence. We feel our clients come to Rising Edge because they know they can rely on us.”