The Green Leaf

Solar jobs

February 12th, 2016
Aiea Public Library's 75-kW system, 6,000 square feet of solar panels are finally up and running. Courtesy image.

Aiea Public Library's 75-kW system, or 6,000 square feet of solar panels (336 in all), are finally up and running more than a year after they were installed. The library had to take measures to protect the community's grid against "possible over-voltage concerns." Courtesy image.

Hawaii ranked fourth in number of solar jobs per capita in 2015, according to a comprehensive Solar Jobs Census released by The Solar Foundation, a Washington DC-based non-profit group this week.

The first-ever Solar Jobs Census offers data on solar jobs in all 50 states, with a breakdown for every state and federal congressional district.

California got top rank for the number of solar jobs, having created more than 20,000 new quality jobs in one year. California also became the first state to surpass the 75,000 jobs benchmark. Massachusetts, meanwhile, came in No. 2, with more than 15,000 solar jobs.

In 2014, the Census counted 2,814 jobs in the state of Hawaii, with the majority located in Honolulu (1,783) followed by Maui (437), Hawaii island (428), Kauai (166). The Hawaii's snapshot also found that the majority of those, or 2,814, were installation related jobs.

The Census counted 162,986 homes powered  by solar and 116 solar companies. It gave Hawaii an "F" Net meter policy grade (most likely due to recent developments doing away with the program), and an "A" for the Interconnection policy grade.

Here's a quick look at who came out on top:

Most Solar Jobs: 1. California 2. Massachusetts 3. Nevada 4.  New York 5. New Jersey

Most Solar Jobs Per Capita: 1. Nevada 2. Massachusetts 3. Vermont 4. Hawaii 5. California

Highest Percent Solar Capacity Growth 2014-15: 1. South Carolina 2. Utah 3. Georgia 4. Oregon 5. New Hampshire

A total of 33 states, including the District of California, saw positive solar jobs growth over the past year. Many states experienced double-digit growth. Find the full report at solarstates.org.

Kaimuki Middle School's parking solar array recently went online, providing the campus with solar power as part of the Department of Education's Ke Hei energy efficiency program. Photo by Nina Wu.

Kaimuki Middle School's parking solar array recently went online, providing the campus with solar power as part of the Department of Education's Ka Hei energy efficiency program. Classrooms at Kaimuki Middle School are air-conditioned. Photo by Nina Wu.

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