Report: Clean Energy Jobs Doubled in 2nd Quarter in U.S.

On the eve of Labor Day weekend, a new report from the nonprofit, nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows that more than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the second quarter of this year – more than double the number of jobs announced in the first quarter.

The jump in jobs took place despite mixed signals on clean energy policies from Congress, but amidst new confidence about future clean energy growth tied to the recently announced federal Clean Power Plan that’s designed to cut carbon pollution and increase clean energy and energy efficiency.

E2’s report, “Clean Energy Works For Us: Second Quarter 2014 Report,” shows that from Washington state to Florida, clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in 29 states in the second quarter of 2014. All told, E2 tracked 54 separate announcements. 

Solar power generation led all sectors in Q2 with more than 5,300 jobs announced, and the wind industry announced more than 2,700 jobs, many stemming from projects that qualified for the recently expired Production Tax Credit (PTC). Other major announcements came from electric car manufacturers Tesla and General Motors.

“This Labor Day weekend, the story is that more Americans are working because of clean energy,” E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe said.

According to E2’s new report, Arizona recorded the greatest number of announced jobs. Solar Wind Energy Inc. announced it expects to hire at least 350 permanent jobs for a new project in San Luis, AZ. California ranks second in the E2 report, thanks to announcements from the utility-scale solar industry and from 500 new jobs announced by Tesla Motors. Michigan placed third, with GM expected to add as many as 1,400 jobs producing advanced battery technologies.

The remaining states in the top-10 for announced clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the second quarter are: Utah (4), Massachusetts (5), New York (6), Nevada (7), New Mexico (8), North Dakota (9), and North Carolina (10).

Among the notable clean energy projects announced across the United States:

* Well over 1,000 new jobs stemming from SolarCity’s announcement of its $200 million acquisition of solar manufacturer Silevo. As part of the acquisition, SolarCity will build a 1 GW annual production capacity manufacturing facility at the RiverBend clean energy hub in Buffalo, NY.

* 800 new construction jobs tied to Tenaska’s recently closed deal to build the Imperial Solar Energy Center West Project in Imperial County, CA.

* 600 jobs created with the $66.7 million investment from Boston Housing Authority, which enabled public housing water and energy retrofits throughout the city. The city expects to save $4 million a year.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, solar had the highest number of announcements of any sector, with 22 total announcements. The E2 report shows that five solar companies announced hiring in the residential sector, expanding their existing workforce in the prime solar markets of Arizona, California, New York and Massachusetts. Each of these states has strong net metering policies, enabling residents to sell electricity back to the grid.

To download the full E2 jobs report, visit www.cleanenergyworksforus.org.

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