Brett Surges Named Vice President at Westphal & Co., Inc.


Westphal & Company’s Board of Directors promoted Brett Surges to Vice President on January 6, 2023.

Brett has been with the company since 1997 and has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago.  He began his career with Westphal as a Project Manager/Estimator in the Janesville office and progressed to Director of Project Management in the Madison office.

Throughout his career at Westphal & Co., Inc., Brett has managed many of the largest projects in the company’s history, including Epic Systems – Verona, University Square in Madison, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW campus and the Alliant Energy Air Quality System at the Columbia Generating station in Portage, WI. As Director of Project Management in the Madison office, Brett has been vital in providing oversight, training, process improvement, problem solving and quality control for the company’s electrical division.

In his new position as Vice President, Brett will continue leading the electrical Project Managers as well as expanded responsibilities on the operations side of the company.

Westphal & Co., Inc., founded in 1931, is a full service electrical and technology construction firm performing work in the commercial, industrial, biohealth, health care, energy, governmental and educational markets.  The firm is headquartered in Madison, WI, and has full-service offices in Janesville, Pewaukee and Dubuque.

Karen Knipfer


2023 Solar Power Predictions

Undoubtfully, clean energy will see tremendous growth in 2023 based on the increased demand, and incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act will further fuel the growth. The increased cost of electricity has been reaching everyone across the globe, bringing more spotlight on solar power energy production. 2023 solar power predictions include the expansion of the community and utility-scale solar farms.

2022 has already seen the uptake in solar projects and this trend is expected to grow sharply this year. The IEA reported that solar PV made up almost half of the new investment in renewable power, with spending divided equally between utility-scale projects and distributed solar PV systems. 1* There is a big effort to protect consumers from the energy crisis and the road to net-zero is closely watched across the globe.

In the first half of 2022, 24% of U.S. electricity generation came from renewable sources according to the EIA. It is predicted that all renewable energy sources are likely to provide 24% of US electricity in 2023. About two-thirds of this forecast increase in renewables generation comes from new utility-scale solar photovoltaic capacity, and most of the rest is from new wind projects.2*

All Eyes on Solar Power

Solar capacity is predicted to grow in the next several years and should surpass a terawatt globally in 2023. New solutions for consumers allow them to take advantage of solar energy without installing the panels on their properties.  Access to quickly developing community solar farms is growing and states like Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New York, and New Jersey have laws in place to further support community solar.

What are community solar farms?

Community solar farms are solar power generation facilities that are owned and operated by a group of individuals, typically within a specific community or region. These individuals, who are often referred to as “subscribers,” can purchase or lease panels within the solar farm, and then receive credits on their utility bills for the electricity that is generated. Community solar farms can provide an opportunity for people who are unable to install solar panels on their property, such as renters or those with shaded roofs, to participate in the benefits of solar energy.

Utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PVs)

Utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PVs) are large-scale solar power systems that generate electricity for distribution to the grid. They are typically installed on a utility’s land or large commercial or industrial properties and can generate several megawatts of power. Utility-scale solar PV systems can be ground-mounted or rooftop-mounted, and they are typically connected to the grid through a transformer and a substation. Utility-scale solar PV systems are designed to provide a reliable source of clean energy to help meet the growing electricity demand.

Unlike nuclear power, the cost of installing solar is likely to get cheaper in the future as efficiencies improve and manufacturing expands. Future advances in both battery and PV technologies should continue to drive the expansion of the technology.

Westphal & Company offers a wide range of solar services.

Our experienced Project Managers, Engineers, and Field Technicians are proficient in installations ranging from 20kW to multi-megawatt projects. Westphal’s engineering staff will not only model and design your system but also assist with the following:

  • Preliminary solar layout using satellite imagery.
  • Determining tax incentives and grants that may be available to you as a result of passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
  • Site assessment to determine suitability for solar.
  • Estimating ROI when provided with 12 months of current utility bills.
  • Assistance with utility interconnection.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our solar team. CONTACT US. 


  1. Forbes “Renewable Energies Saw A $500 Billion Boom In Government Investment In 2022″