By Elizabeth E. Payne
In 2016, a record number of jobs were created to make, sell and install solar panels across the United States, according to a new report by The Solar Foundation. There were 260,077 jobs in the solar industry last year, representing a nearly 25 percent increase from the year before.
According the Solar Energy Industry Association’s 2016 U.S. Solar Market Insight report, North Carolina nearly doubled its solar jobs in 2016, becoming the No. 2 ranked solar-producing state in the nation, following California.
In Chattanooga, Tenn., EPB — a municipal utility — has started construction on Solar Share, the city’s first community solar project. Customers can buy into the project at several levels and get credit on their bill based on the energy generated by the panels. Once complete, the project will provide enough energy for about 200 homes.
And the N.C. Utilities Commission will hear challenges brought by solar developer O2 EMC alleging that Duke Energy has denied them access to the energy grid.