Three US solar energy projects, jobs in demand, and top training programs

September 20, 2023

Solar engineers

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Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, with businesses and homeowners investing in resources that reduce emissions and save money on electricity bills. In 2022, California ranked first in utility-scale solar generation, followed by Texas and North Carolina. 

Solar companies, including the value chain of activities from research and development through installation, operations, and maintenance for both photovoltaics and concentrating solar power, employed 346,143 workers in a part- or full-time capacity in 2022, up 12,256 (3.7 per cent) from those employed in 2021. 

With this growth in jobs comes an uptick in demand for educated professionals who are willing to make solar energy the primary focus. 

Let us provide you with the top renewable energy talent to drive your  initiatives. Contact our expert staffing team now.

 


Jobs in demand and local challenges

There is no shortage of opportunities within the United States for those looking to enter or make a career change into the booming field of solar energy.

This article will present the top three solar energy projects in the US and how candidates can best prepare themselves for careers in the sector.

9_Solar employees from 2010 to 2022 in the USA

Regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, the solar energy industry still faces challenges in the region. The report found that women made up just under 30 per cent of the solar workforce, while Black employees made up 8 per cent of the workforce, Latino or Hispanic workers made up 20 per cent, and Asian workers made up 9 per cent.

Fewer than one-third of solar firms reported strategies to increase female, ethnic or racial minority, or LGBTQ+ hires.

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Educational programs for training new solar energy workers in the US

solar energy workersSource: Kuznetcov_Konstantin/Shutterstock

The workforce of the present and the future needs to arm itself with a combination of in-depth technical knowledge and a wide range of soft skills. Many schools offer courses to train generations of workers that specialise in creating and dealing with environmentally friendly solutions.

The Cleantech Institute 

Located at NASA’s Ames Park in San Jose, California, it operates as a research, consulting, and training organisation for the renewable energy industry. It is responsible for training and is important for providing certifications for vital jobs relating to emerging clean technologies, such as Certified Photovoltaic Systems Specialist (CPVS).

Stanford University

Teaching the new generation of green tech talent and researching the future trends of sustainable development, the School of Sustainability has been involved in training the workforce in the energy transition.

MIT Energy Initiative

One of the endeavours worth mentioning is the MIT Energy Initiative, an education and research hub of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was created with a mission to develop low and no-carbon solutions, thus contributing to the fight against the climate crisis. The hub supports undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars with studies in strategic areas in the renewable energy industry.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO)

It has developed several resources and guides to help those working in the solar industry. You can find training about operations and maintenance of small businesses and large-scale projects and solar energy resources for job seekers.

Green Tech Talent Required to Boost Net Zero


States spending the most on solar power projects

There are 467 solar projects slated for the next five years with a total value of $98bn. The regions in the USA spending the most on solar power projects over the next 10 years are Texas ($27bn), New York ($7bn), Indiana ($6bn), California ($6bn), Ohio ($6bn), and Nevada ($6bn).

Maps and Graphics US Solar energy projects

Top 3 solar energy projects starting in 2023

With numerous projects proving just how successful and effective solar investment can be, the US is set to undergo a major overhaul of its existing solar projects and facilities. We listed three exciting solar projects being implemented in the US in 2023. 

Gemini Solar

Operated by Primergy Solar and APG Group in Nevada, this project is expected to be constructed in two phases:

  • Phase one: A 440MW portion of the solar farm will be connected to NV Energy's Crystal substation to supply power to residents and businesses located in the solar farm's surrounding area.
  • Phase two: The remaining 250MW portion of the solar farm will also interconnect with NV Energy's Crystal substation but will supply power to markets in California and Arizona.

A 380MW battery storage system will also be added. Once complete and operational in 2023, Gemini is expected to generate enough clean energy to power more than 400,000 homes during peak periods and displace 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 annually.

It is currently the largest solar + storage project under construction in the US and recently closed a record-breaking US$1.9 billion tax equity and debt financing led by Bank of America, Truist, KeyBanc, MUFG, and NORD/LB. 

Gigawatt 1 Solar Project

This project is slated to be the single largest solar project portfolio in the United States and is anticipated to generate enough electricity to power nearly one million homes upon completion. It is a construction of a 1GW solar PV project in southern and northern Nevada. 

Its anchor tenants will include the telecommunications company, Switch, as well as several Switch CORE clients. Approximately 1,250 construction jobs will be created during the project. Operated by Capital Dynamics, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Yellow Pine Solar Project

The proposed solar project in Clark County, Nevada, would combine photovoltaic panels and lithium-ion batteries to generate up to 500MW of clean energy and could create up to 300 jobs in the construction stage.

It will be operated by NextEra Energy Resources, which already has solar projects in 27 states, including the 250MW Silver State South Solar Energy Center in Nevada.


Airswift can help you 

Airswift is committed to supporting the energy transition. From our offices in the United States, we connect international talent to the biggest solar energy projects. 

With over 60 offices worldwide, 1,000 employees, and 9,000 contractors, we have successfully placed permanent and contract personnel across various disciplines.

Let us provide you with the top renewable energy talent to drive your  initiatives. Contact our expert staffing team now.

Want to know more about clean energy projects in the USA? Read also:

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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator