Mortenson Construction said Tuesday it plans to open a new office in San Antonio, Texas, during the first half of 2014.

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

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, U.S. 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 now has offices in Chicago, Denver, Madison, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.

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