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WILLDAN GRP INC : Willdan Awarded $4.6 Million Contract for Energy Upgrade Los Angeles - Commercial Initiative

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03/29/2011 | 04:25pm EST

Willdan Group, Inc. ("Willdan") (NASDAQ:WLDN) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Willdan Energy Solutions, was awarded a contract for up to $4.6 million as program administrator for the Energy Upgrade Los Angeles - Commercial Initiative. The program incentivizes private financing of comprehensive energy and water system upgrades for Los Angeles commercial buildings while contributing to local job creation. This innovative program, launched by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, will commence in the second quarter of 2011 and will be completed by March 2012, with an option to extend for another year.

"This is an exciting opportunity to do what we do best, as energy efficiency and sustainability experts, at a scale that we anticipate will remove approximately 39,720 tons of carbon emissions per year," said WES President Jay Bhalla. "That is tantamount to taking 7,065 cars off the road. It's a real impact."

The Energy Upgrade initiative will offer free assessments of savings opportunities, facilitate access to utility incentives and rebates, introduce property owners to retrofit lenders and investors and provide access to a debt-service reserve fund to encourage early adoption. The program will use a new financing vehicle for commercial property owners called PACE, Property-Assessed Clean Energy, which is an "owner-arranged" tax-lien financing model. Individual property owners may negotiate financing from commercial lenders on the terms, scale and schedule that best suit their project, and repay the financing through a contractual assessment on the building's property tax bill.

The initiative is part of the California Energy Commission's Energy Upgrade California program, a statewide effort to roll out aggressive utility-incentive packages, pilot innovative financing approaches, and establish a statewide web-based platform that connects users to localized information about all of the relevant available incentives, resources and financing opportunities.

"A clear and effective road map coupled with a competent and tested team is critical to successful program implementation," Bhalla said. "We look forward to leveraging our expertise alongside our fellow team members in support of CRA/LA's Energy Upgrade Los Angeles, reducing Los Angeles' carbon footprint while helping local businesses grow and prosper. This is a win-win, for Willdan, residents and businesses of the City of Los Angeles and the entire Southern California region."

About Willdan Energy Solutions

WES is one of the nation's preeminent providers of specialized energy, water, and resource management services to a growing list of clients that includes utilities, local and federal governments, hospitals, schools and private enterprises. WES's portfolio of services includes marketing and engineering, program management and implementation of energy efficiency and water conservation programs and development and implementation of information systems for the energy industry. WES's expertise also covers hardware retrofits, commissioning and retro-commissioning, demonstrations of new technologies, energy efficiency education/outreach, sustainability strategy and local government partnerships.

About Willdan Group, Inc.

Founded over 45 years ago, Willdan is a provider of professional technical and consulting services to small and mid-sized public agencies, large public utilities and, to a lesser extent, private industry primarily located in California, New York and Arizona. Willdan provides a broad range of services to clients, including civil engineering and planning, energy efficiency and sustainability, economic and financial consulting, and homeland security and communications and technology. For additional information, visit Willdan's website at www.willdan.com.

About CRA/LA

CRA/LA (www.crala.org) is a public agency regulated by the State of California and operating within the City of Los Angeles. We make strategic investments to create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in our neighborhoods. CRA/LA manages 31 redevelopment projects areas and three revitalization areas in seven regions: East Valley, West Valley, Hollywood & Central, Downtown, Eastside, South Los Angeles, and the Harbor.

Forward-Looking Statements

Safe Harbor Statement: Statements in this press release which are not purely historical, including statements regarding Willdan's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations, representations, projections, estimates, plans or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the risk that Willdan will not be able to expand its services or meet the needs of customers in markets in which it operates. It is important to note that Willdan's actual results could differ materially from those in any such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, a slowdown in the local and regional economies of the states where Willdan conducts business and the loss of or inability to hire additional qualified professionals. Willdan's business could be affected by a number of other factors, including the risk factors listed from time to time in Willdan's SEC reports including, but not limited to, the Form 10-K annual report for the year ended December 31, 2010 filed on March 29, 2011. Willdan cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Willdan disclaims any obligation to, and does not undertake to, update or revise any forward-looking statements in this press release.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6663799&lang=en

Willdan Group, Inc.
Kimberly Gant
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 714-940-6300
Financial Profiles, Inc.
Moira Conlon
Tel: 310-478-2700 x11

© Business Wire 2011
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