Last week the Solar Foundation released the national and state-by-state results of its annual “Solar Jobs Census" with Wisconsin showing solid growth in the industry.
Wisconsin’s solar industry employs 2,813 workers according to the Census, across installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development, and related sector employment.
The Census reported 45% growth in Wisconsin solar over 2015 numbers (1,941 jobs), after showing little growth the past two years.
Wisconsin’s Executive Director of RENEW, Tyler Huebner, says solar manufacturing is growing here...
"....there are a lot of manufacturing companies building not necessarily the solar panels, there aren't alot of U.S. manufacturing, there is some, but a lot of the equipment that goes with it, the ancilliary parts that make the panels work and the installations work are actually built here in Wisconsin and we have companies export those across the country and around the world..."
Huebner says there are some relatively unknown statistics about the industry...
"....it's been more than a 20 percent growth rate for the past four years. We have about twice as many jobs as we have in the coal industry in the United States and about as many jobs as in the natural gas industry in the United States. Solar is a huge job creator especially in the energy sector...."
A large solar array is planned for a site in northeastern Wisconsin.
Renew Wisconsin is a non-profit based in Madison promoting renewable energy