According to Solar Energy Industries Association, 1387 MW of community solar has been installed through 2018, and 43 states have at least one community solar project. With examples including the wildly successful Community Gardens, Minnesota is arguably the nation's leader in developing community solar programs. As more states are trying to meet their RPS targets, solar project growth is booming. Illinois recently completed their lottery. New Jersey is rolling out a new program (albeit small). And Florida has one?! Because solar professionals are limited, states are actually competing against each other for top talent.
I just returned from Philadelphia where I was attending the Community Solar Summit (very well run!). There's a huge amount of optimism in community solar and we're seeing this translate into jobs. For starters, there are more developers and private funds dedicated to building out community solar developments. There are also more third party companies fully dedicated to managing the ever-so-painful subscriber base for the off-take.
This points to more jobs! We've already seen an uptick in 2019 from community solar projects and I'm not anticipating a slowdown as more states incorporate programs dedicated to community solar. Our heaviest growth areas are the midwest and northeast, but I'm seeing the southeast getting stronger as well. The specific talent needed to support community solar consists of project developers, construction project managers, superintendents, PV engineers, installers, and O&M (performance optimization, asset management).
2019 is tracking to be an aggressive year in community solar markets across the US. EnergeiaWorks is here to help you with talent acquisition in R&D, manufacturing, development, engineering, construction, and O&M.