New Solar Project Hiring Locals, Veterans

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Laura Caseley
Earthtechling
August 12th, 2011

SolarReserve, a developer of solar projects, announced recently that an amendment had been made to the agreement the company had with its affiliate, Tonopah Solar Energy, and Nye County in Nevada. The amendment states that 90% of all workforce on the 110 megawatt (MW) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project must come from Nye County residents. The solar project, also located in Nye County, is estimated to create more than 600 jobs during its construction.

Construction is expected to begin this September and last for about 30 months. After completion, Crescent Dunes will employ about 45 people full-time. $37 million in tax revenue is expected for its first 10 years of operation.

SolarReserve is also developing a program that will support the hiring of local veterans and people with family members engaged in active duty. Through this program, SolarReserve is partnered with employment programs headed by the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, and veterans’ organizations. In addition, Tonopah Solar Energy is working with the Nevada System of Higher Education to develop curricula to train future employees of the Crescent Dunes project and other projects.

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Feds approve massive Desert Center solar project

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K. Kaufmann
The Desert Sun
August 10th, 2011

With federal approval of First Solar's 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project Wednesday, three of the four fast-tracked industrial-scale solar projects on public land east of the Coachella Valley are, or soon will be, hiring.

“We're going to see people back to work pretty quick,” said Riverside County Supervisor John J. Benoit. “There will be a large number of construction jobs at the start. We need them now and we need them quick.”

Located near the small town of Desert Center, about 60 miles east of Indio, Desert Sunlight is expected to generate 440 construction jobs and $336 million in economic impact for the county. The electricity it produces will power about 165,000 homes.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave the official go-ahead for Desert Sunlight on Wednesday, noting it is the largest photovoltaic project the department has approved to date.

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Green Jobs Booming In The Golden State

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Laura Caseley
August 9th, 2011
Earthtechling

California is doing a lot to build a green economy, that’s undeniable. There’s a renewable portfolio standard calling for 20 percent renewables by the end of 2013, 25 percent by the end of 2016 and 33 percent by the end of 2020. There’s also Governor Jerry Brown’s push for 12,000 megawatts of distributed solar by 2020. Still, in a new report, an environmental advocacy group is suggesting the state needs to do even more to make sure the 15,000 people enrolling in green job training programs every year are going to be able to find work.

“To ensure continued growth of the clean energy economy and to fulfill the promise of new job opportunities for those graduating from these green training programs, California must maintain its commitment to big, bold clean energy policies,” the group Environment California said. “Specifically California should establish a strong set of rules for cleaning up cars between 2017 and 2025, fully implementing policies needed to achieve Governor Brown’s vision of building 12 gigawatts of distributed energy resources (e.g. rooftop solar) by 2020 and subsequently moving beyond the state’s 33 percent renewable energy mandate by 2020.”

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US Solar PV to Double in 2011; Grow 47% a year to 2015

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Andrew Burger
Cleantechnica
August 8th, 2011

The US solar photovoltaic (PV) market will double in 2011, this despite current economic weakness, according to research from Solarbuzz. With a current project pipeline of more than 17 gigawatts (GW), the Port Washington, NY-based research firm foresees the US solar PV market growing to reach as high as 6.4 GW by 2015 depending on the scenario, a constant annual growth rate of 47%.

Solarbuzz forecasts the US will account for 12% of the global solar PV market by 2015, up from 5%. This would make the US the third-largest solar PV market worldwide, ranking behind Germany and Italy.

2011 growth rates will vary regionally and by market segment with shifts in policy and incentives at the federal, state and local levels of government, but the sharp drop in solar PV prices will underpin growth, according to Solarbuzz’s “United States 2011 PV Market” report.

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Green Jobs And Where To Find Them

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The Huffington Post
August 7th, 2011

Even though the U.S. unemployment rate remains high and job concerns are on the minds of many Americans, some sectors, including many green jobs, may have an optimistic future.

A recent study by the Brookings Institute found that the growth of green jobs may have even accelerated during the recent global recession, and industries "ranging from wind and solar energy to smart grid applications and professional energy services -- grew twice as fast as the rest of the economy.” However, according to HuffPost blogger Mark Muro, green jobs are still more of an “appropriate ambition than a large source of near-term employment.”

For environmental supporters and proponents of green-collar jobs, some of the expected budget cuts from the recently passed debt limit bill are alarming. The extent of cuts won't be decided until later this year, but the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department may lose funding to a number of their programs, reports The Week. Many worry what will happen to green industries if lawmakers “gut the EPA.” According to Ben Schreiber, a tax analyst with Friends of the Earth, “the clean-energy revolution" will become "a casualty of these cuts.”

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