Solar City hosts industry event in White Plains
State Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton told a crowd gathered in White Plains that the solar industry has added over 200 jobs in Charles County alone, a 42 percent growth in 2015, according to a news release.
“The solar industry in Charles County has provided a huge benefit to our economy and our environment,” Middleton (D-Charles) said at an industry event at Solar City’s regional warehouse, according to the release. “There are few other industries out there that are growing this fast and offering good paying local jobs that cannot be outsourced.”
Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) hosted a solar celebration with Middleton, Del. Sally Jameson (D-Charles), Darrell Brown, director of the Charles County Department of Economic Development, local solar companies and workers at Solar City’s White Plains warehouse. The Southern Maryland solar industry supports more than 260 solar jobs in Charles County and more than 35 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power, according to the news release.
According to the association, Maryland’s solar industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, adding more than a thousand jobs each year for the last three years. In 2015, during the same period, national solar employment grew nearly 12 times faster than the U.S. employment growth rate of 1.7 percent. The industry now employs more than 200,000 people from coast to coast.
“The amount of solar development we have seen in Southern Maryland the past few years has been astonishing. The majority of it has been resident, like in Charles County, with many homeowners deciding to put it on their roof,” Jameson told the gathering, according to the news release. “It is critical that we continue to support the growth of in-state jobs from Maryland’s solar industr y and the ability of homeowners to choose where their energy comes from.”
The Southern Maryland counties of St. Mary’s, Charles and Calvert have all seen consistent solar growth over the last two years, the news release said. The industry is also diverse — the workforce is 27 percent women, 14 percent African-American, 7 percent veterans, 6 percent Hispanic and 4 percent Asian-American. Average compensation for a solar worker is $21 an hour — significantly higher than the minimum wage.
State Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton talks to a solar industry gathering Monday at SolarCity’s White Plains warehouse. Del. Sally Jameson also spoke at the event.