March 28, 2017
ST. PAUL – Tuesday, March 28 – A new report from The Solar Foundation shows that Minnesota is growing solar jobs at a rapid pace. Minnesota has 118 solar companies that support 2,872 jobs throughout the state – an increase of 232 percent over the past three years.
“Solar energy growth is a big bright spot in Minnesota’s energy economy,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose agency includes the state energy office. “Solar now creates jobs and drives business opportunities for Minnesotans while also helping us lead the way to a clean energy future that benefits all of us.”
Key data points from Minnesota’s report:
• Minnesota saw historic solar job growth in 2016. The state has 2,872 total solar jobs, an increase of 44 percent from 2015; 877 new solar jobs were added over the past year.
• The pace Minnesota is adding solar jobs is significant. Solar jobs grew 90 times faster than the overall state economy in 2016. Solar jobs are expected to grow an additional 16 percent in 2017.
• Good policies help spark solar innovation and growth. Most Minnesota solar employers cited the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and the state’s Renewable Energy Standard as the top policies encouraging their success.
“It’s clear solar is adding immense value to Minnesota as a job creator,” said Gregg Mast, executive director of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota. “Minnesota saw an extraordinary amount of growth – not just in the Twin Cities metro area, but also throughout Greater Minnesota where solar jobs are growing at a rapid pace.”
“Minnesota’s solar industry is booming,” said Marty Morud, owner of TruNorth Solar. “It’s helping grow local economies in every part of our state – more and more workers are also benefiting from well-paying solar jobs which have never been more accessible.”
“The Solar Foundation research confirms that Minnesota is on the right track as we transition to a clean energy economy,” said Ben Granley, president of Werner Electric. “Strong state policies have helped set the stage for businesses, large and small, across the state to take advantage of this significant market opportunity.”