Christenson Electric acquires Tanner Creek Energy

Christianson Electric acquired Tanner Creek Energy, bringing efficiency and solar expertise in house.

Mark Walter (left) of Christianson Electric and Alan Hickenbottom of Tanner Creek Energy will join forces to bring efficiency and solar expertise to a wide array of clients.

Christenson Electric is expected to announce Tuesday its acquisition of solar and energy-efficiency services company Tanner Creek Energy in a move to bring more building expertise in house at the 66-year-old Portland business.

A. Mark Walter, Christenson's CEO, said the acquisition will allow his business to better meet the needs of customers by offering renewable energy and efficiency expertise.

"This moves us from being reactive to being proactive," Walter said. "Our customers are thinking a lot about doing less with more. This allows us to offer more creative services."

Alan Hickenbottom, who founded Tanner Creek in 2007, emphasized that the acquisition will bring new capabilities to both sides.

"We bring the mindset and the understanding of where the market is going," Hickenbottom said. "It used to be that we're too small, but now there's nowhere we can't go."

Tanner Creek made a name for itself around Portland by installing solar arrays for high-profile customers such as Columbia Sportswear and many Oregon wineries. In October, the company announced it would add energy-efficiency advice and technology to its menu of services.

Christenson meanwhile, overhauled its tagline as of Jan. 1 to read "Energy Services Contractor," signaling the company's intent to broaden its offerings beyond standard electrical services.

Christenson became an independent, private company in 2008 when it was acquired for about $9 million from Microfield Group Inc. The company has about 300 employees and has its own experience in solar energy including installing panels on REI stores. Christenson is also working with the entrepreneurs behind EV4Oregon, a solar-powered electric car charging station concept.

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