So­lar City hosts in­dus­try event in White Plains

Maryland Independent - - Business -

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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