Nevada sees rapid growth in solar industry jobs

According to a report released Thursday, the solar industry has generated 3,500 new jobs in Nevada in the past year. This was a 146 percent increase over 2013, pushing Nevada to No. 1 in the nation in solar jobs per capita.

las vegas energy efficient new homesIn terms of total jobs in the solar industry, our Silver State ranked seventh nationally with 5,900 jobs. The Solar Foundation counted 106 solar companies doing business statewide, with most jobs arriving in the areas of installation, project development, and manufacturing.

The independent, nonprofit research group's president and executive director Andrea Luecke said, "Nevada’s solar jobs growth was the most impressive in the country in 2014. 146 percent jobs growth is nearly double the next highest state, and Nevada leapfrogged seven other states to claim the No. 1 slot in jobs per capita."

The Solar Foundation also reported that about 82,000 homes are now powered by solar energy in Nevada, but the industry’s total output of less than 700 megawatts accounts for roughly 8 percent of the state’s overall power capacity. In comparison, a single NV Energy power plant produces almost twice as much electricity as all Nevada solar arrays combined.

“I am proud that Nevada leads the nation in solar jobs and opportunities,” said Governor Brian Sandoval in a statement. “Nevada is emerging as a leader in new technology and innovation, and this announcement demonstrates the possibilities within our state if we continue to recruit the growing industries of the 21st century.”

Nevada has seen about $2.3 billion invested in solar-power generation as of last year, most of it in the form of utility-scale projects.

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