Solar Jobs
The DMNS solar systems received great attention after a visit from President Obama and Vice President Biden, who toured the site prior to the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009. With a 100,000 sq. foot addition in the works, there is room and plans for even more solar panels. Check out the daily solar power generation and usage of the museum. (Credit: Next Generation Energy)

Top 5 States for Solar Jobs

Looking for a little light to finally shine down on you in your work life? You don’t have to look very far if you live in one of the top five states known for providing jobs in the solar industry.

Something about the sun simply makes people happy: a better day almost is inevitable if the sun is shining, and sunshine actually ensures a better night’s rest, too. You just might need this shot of sunshine in the workplace as well.

Consider these five green states if you’re looking for a change in your mood and in your career:

California

California is well known as being the solar job hub simply because, well, it is the Golden State. In fact, last fall, a quarter of all of the nation’s solar jobs were in this state known for its sunny beaches. Electric rate incentives have spurred much of the growth of green solar panel installations and, as a result, solar jobs in California. A whopping 26,000 solar jobs have been created in California alone.

Colorado

Last year, it was determined that a little more than 6,000 residents of Colorado were working in the green solar sector, making this state the second highest ranking solar jobs state. The state strove to reach two times its 2008 clean energy goal as well as pass the 2010 Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. Even though California surpasses Colorado in the number of solar jobs created, Colorado still actually is the highest-ranking state in terms of the number of solar jobs produced per capita.

Arizona

More than 4,700 employees benefited from solar jobs late last year at almost 1,000 different companies. The natural condition of Arizona makes it an ideal area for solar work, and economic incentives exist to woo solar job manufacturing employers to The Copper State. The need for opportunities in solar jobs comes on the heel of a large dip in the number of the state’s high-technology jobs – about 1,300 jobs – in 2010.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a whopping 6,000 green solar energy systems have been installed. Not only have these efforts yielded about 5,000 green jobs in the state but also it has allowed the state to generate three times more solar energy than what is required by Pennsylvania law. Right now, House Bill 1580 is being promoted as a way to boost Pennsylvania’s solar jobs goals over the next three years in response to slowing solar installation growth recently.

New York

New York City actually has the capability of producing half the electricity required during peak periods simply by using solar power. The city’s goal now is to continue decreasing the price of electricity by decreasing the need to rely on fossil fuel plants and produce 2,200 megawatts of solar power by 2022. This amount of solar power would be adequate to provide power for 400,000 – almost half a million – homes in New York.

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