Mortenson Construction announced this week that it plans to open an office in San Antonio during the first half of this year.

The Golden Valley-based firm said the office will support its growing energy business, including wind and solar projects, high-voltage transmission and other operations in Texas.

The office initially will include 30 to 40 employees who will support several hundred field positions throughout Texas. But future employment needs are "anticipated to be much higher," the firm said in a statement.

"Texas has a strong economy and is a leader in the U.S. energy industry," said Tom Wacker, senior vice president at Mortenson. "We have built many projects across several industries in Texas over the years and now we are committed to being there full-time as an active member of the San Antonio business community, serving our customers and creating jobs. This new office will be the center for many of our operations in and around the area."

Mortenson said it has built nearly 80 projects in Texas so far, and has several underway, including work for the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and OCI Solar Power, a San Antonio-based firm that is a leader in the solar energy industry.

Other work includes three recently awarded wind-farm projects that will involve high-voltage transmission, including power substations and transmission, and civil grading and road construction.

Beyond its local operations, Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Madison, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle, plus international operations in Canada and China.