Stout & Burg Electric Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Stout & Burg Electric Inc. (SBE), a full-service union electrical contracting company in southern California, was founded by Matt Stoutenburg and Jeff Wilson in 2004. Possessing backgrounds as field electricians, the partners began with a business plan in 2002 and took on SBE’s first client, a data center, two years later.
Excellent work and longstanding customer relationships transformed what began as a two-man operation into a growing enterprise employing more than 75 people in Tustin, Calif. Notably, SBE is also a preferred contractor to Fortune 500 companies, general contractors and leading data centers on the West Coast.
A growing portfolio
Data center and mission critical projects are SBE’s claim to fame. The company is proud to have been the electrical contractor for a 90,000-square-foot ground-up data center expansion project in Irvine, Calif. The project’s specifications included 90 tons of underground concrete electric vaults, 40,000 cubic feet of underground conduit concrete encasement, over 24 miles of electrical feeder cable and 2,700 electrical terminations. Wilson notes that over 40 electricians were employed for the project.
The team completed a second build-out project for the same data center, designing and installing electrical infrastructure to accommodate the needs of future clients. In the 12,000 square feet of space, SBE installed two additional 2-megawatt utility company services, two 2-megawatt main distribution sections and generators and 3 megawatts of uninterruptible power supply. Additionally, 10 225-kVA power distribution units, along with the infrastructure for an additional 10 units, were also part of the build-out.
The contract was part of an ongoing project that ran for more than three years. “We performed the upgrade while the data center was operating,” Wilson notes. “They could not have any interruption to service, so we had to replace the electrical systems without turning anything off. It took a lot of planning, coordination and sequencing. We compare this work to having open heart surgery and changing out all of the veins in your body while staying alive. That being said, I believe we are good at solving problems.”
SBE expanded into the alternative energy market in 2008 and has since completed an impressive number of solar projects. In 2013, the team completed work on a large, 2.08-megawatt, 7,300-plus panel utility scale solar farm in California’s High Desert region. The installation crew contended with almost-daily dust storms with winds over 100 miles per hour. From mobilization to completion, the entire project was built in 60 days.
A total of five such projects were contracted on a fast-track timeline and completed by SBE within timeframes of between 45 and 60 days. More than 33,000 panels were installed on over 63 acres of land and featured single-axis tracking mechanisms that allow the panels to tilt as they follow the sun’s path to maximize solar exposure and power generation. In total, the power generated by the five solar farms is capable of meeting the average power needs of 7,400 homes in the state.
The company’s project track record includes numerous tenant improvement and multifamily projects, as well. SBE rounds out its portfolio of services with inspections, testing, maintenance and emergency response divisions.
Keys to success
Wilson credits his team with much of the company’s success. “Our qualified project managers and engineers really help us to facilitate this work,” he details. “We have a really good core group of people that go above and beyond where they need to and that has helped us be successful. To get to that next level you need the quality of people who are capable of doing things the way we believe it should be done. Ours is not always the easiest way because we go above and beyond what typical contractors do.”
In addition to being signatory with southern California International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers chapters, the company benefits from its involvement with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). As members of NECA’s Orange County Chapter, SBE takes advantage of a number of programs designed to help contractors grow and succeed.
“With collective bargaining, obtaining certified union electricians is not something that we need to worry about,” Wilson explains. “We have different meetings and educational opportunities, accounting help and programs that are helpful in running our business. Having that support, we know that if we have a question about anything, NECA can help us out.”
As the company has grown, SBE continues to gain recognition for its ability to remain within the triple project constraints of budget, schedule and quality and scope. “Our main gauge of performance is how well we complete a project,” Wilson notes. “I really enjoy building and completing things on time and on budget. We are very proud to be able to deliver a quality, clean product better than anyone else.”
With SBE’s diverse capabilities, Stoutenburg, Wilson and the team look forward to future opportunities in a competitive market. SBE is well-positioned to expand its services to the office space tenant improvement sector, multi-use and multifamily residential construction and the hospitality and medical industries. Nonetheless, solar and mission critical data centers will remain strong areas of focus. In the coming years, Stout & Burg Electric Inc. will continue to apply the same principles of hard work and integrity to projects across the board.
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