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February 19, 2020

CT solar jobs hold steady as U.S. industry stems losses

solar clean energy blumenthal Photo | HBJ File A technician from Norwich-based Lantern Energy working on a solar array.

The number of solar energy-related jobs in Connecticut was stable last year, as the industry experienced a nationwide rebound in jobs, following two years of declines.

That’s according to the 10th annual National Solar Jobs Census from the Solar Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for solar energy.

Connecticut had 2,234 solar jobs in 2019, an increase of 41 jobs, or 1.9 percent, from the year prior, according to the survey. That is within the survey’s 2.27% margin of error for the nationwide data. Error margins for individual states were not provided, but would likely be higher.

The U.S. solar industry had nearly 250,000 workers last year, an increase of 2.3 percent year over year, which is just above the survey’s error margin.

The U.S. job count declined in the prior two annual surveys, for 2017 and 2018. Connecticut’s solar job activity was mostly flat during that time.

A total of 22 states posted 2019 job growth rates above the survey’s error margin.

As of 2019, Connecticut’s count of solar jobs per capita ranks 21st in the country. That’s one spot higher than a year ago, but down from 18th place in 2015. Nevada ranked first per capita in 2019.

Georgia saw the highest growth of 29.8%, adding 1,102 jobs. That was followed by Florida, which added 1,843 jobs, an increase of 17.8%. The best-performing New England state in the recent year was New Hampshire, where jobs grew 16 percent, to 1,031.

The foundation defines a solar job as a position in which at least 50 percent of the employee’s time is spent on solar-related work.

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