As the days get longer, I am reminded that summer is just around the corner. The extra daylight is reinvigorating my garden. But lately, another bloom has captured my attention: the solar photovoltaic (PV) installations sprouting up across the country.
Solar jobs across the country
The Solar Foundation recently released an interactive map and a report that ranks states by the number of PV installations and solar industry jobs. It may not surprise you that sunny states like Arizona, Hawaii, and California landed the numbers one, two, and three spots respectively for solar jobs per capita. But solar PV is not just a Western/Pacific phenomenon. Massachusetts and New Jersey also report large numbers of solar jobs per capita, and both North Carolina and Pennsylvania fall in the top-ten states for solar installations on homes.
The Bay State blows past its solar goal four years early
Last week, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick announced that the state had already surpassed its goal to install 250 megawatts (MW) of solar energy by 2017. The new goal has been revised to 1,600 MW by 2020.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Massachusetts increased its solar generation capacity from 16 MW in 2009 to over 250 MW, and installed 198 MW of solar power in 2012 alone.
New York extends its solar commitment
Last week, appropriately on Earth Day, the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation that would extend the NY-Sun Initiative through 2023. The bipartisan bill, S.2522, would extend a stable and predictable long-term incentive program that would enable New Yorkers to install another 2,200 MW of solar, which would power roughly 400,000 homes. New York currently ranks 12th in the country for total installed solar capacity.
Indianapolis has several major solar farms in the works
In March, workers broke ground on a 12 MW solar installation for the Indianapolis International Airport. The project is expected to generate electricity by the end of the year, and will be the country’s largest solar generation facility located at an airport. Solar installations are also planned for the south side of the city and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Renewable energy policies are driving clean energy blooms across the country
This blog contains just a few examples of how states are taking the initiative to source larger and larger portions of their electricity supplies from renewables. For more information about how clean, renewable energy is rolling out across the country, check out the latest UCS report: How Renewable Electricity Standards Deliver Economic Benefits and read my colleague Jeff Deyette’s blog on the topic.
Bring on that sun!
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