From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The solar sector is expanding nationwide, a new report out Monday found, but a renewable energy advocate warned that Wisconsin could see a pullback in solar projects and growth next year.
“Our report shows that there are over 100,000 solar jobs at over 17,000 employment sites nationwide, and despite an extremely sluggish economy, the solar industry is creating jobs nearly 10 times faster than everyone else,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation in Washington, D.C., and former director of the Milwaukee Shines program.
The solar industry’s job growth has been 6.8% over the past year, at a time when the economy was growing by less than 1%.
The solar jobs census also found that solar employers expect to increase the number of solar workers by 24%, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs by August 2012. Over the next 12 months, nearly half of solar firms expect to add jobs.
Milwaukee is seeing job growth from solar components manufacturing – including the panel factory Helios USA, which opened this year, and the Ingeteam factory that will soon being producing solar inverters.
But the picture for installations isn’t as bright for next year in Wisconsin, despite incentive programs launched in Milwaukee and Madison. There is a flurry of activity this year, but 2012 activity could “fall off the cliff,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of Renew Wisconsin.
Setbacks for solar projects include the suspension of funding incentives for nonresidential solar by the Focus on Energy program, as well as the cancellation of a program by We Energies that provided incentives for renewable projects.
“There are still a few projects in the pipeline and the second half of this year will be a good one for the industry and installation contractors – as long as they don’t pay any attention to the cliff, the abyss, that’s in store for them this January,” Vickerman said.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:
It’s taken a bit longer than planned but a fast-growing Madison-based solar energy company is finally settling into new digs.
On Wednesday, Full Spectrum Solar will celebrate its move to 1240 E. Washington Ave., the former Quality Collision auto body repair shop.
Full Spectrum has been working on the new location for nearly a year, including purchasing the real estate. It was formerly located in the Madison Enterprise small business incubator at 100 S. Baldwin St.
“We started moving in early February but it was a rolling process,” says company co-owner Burke O’Neal. “We did a lot of work ourselves and with small subcontractors, so it took a while.”
The company — which designs and installs solar energy systems on both residential and commercial scales — will “Flip the Switch” on its solar-electric powered awning at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Newly-elected Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will offer remarks along with outgoing Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and other renewable energy advocates.
Tours of the new facility will follow from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Founded in 2002, Full Spectrum Solar is owned and operated by Madison-natives and UW-Madison engineering alumni, brothers Burke and Mark O’Neal. Over the past five years, the company has increased sales eight-fold and currently employs 12 full-time and one part-time employee.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
From a story on WDIO-TV, Duluth, Minnesota:
It may surprise you but 44 states–including Minnesota and Wisconsin—don’t guarantee their residents the right to line dry their laundry. But a Superior lawmaker is making sure his clothesline-using constituents aren’t hung out to dry.
There’s a million different ways Northland residents can enjoy a Sunny sunday, but at Jan Conley’s household perfect weekend weather is reserved for hanging the laundry.
“There’s something iconic about hanging clothes out,” said Jan Conley of Lake Nebagamon. “I think there’s something really nice about it you know you feel good you’re outside you’re hanging clothes you’ve accomplished something and then when you’re done great I washed these clothes and they’re hanging out.”
A movement, dubbed the “Right to Dry” revolution by followers, began some years ago in Oregon, when homeowners’ associations began banning residents from line drying their laundry. Although none of those communities exist here, Representative Nick Milroy wants to protect those rights for his Wisconsin residents before they’re taken away.
“People really cherish their freedom in this country and I think taking away something as simple as allowing people to line dry their clothes is save money save energy it just doesn’t make send to me,” said Wisconsin State Representative, Nick Milroy of Superior.
Conley joined the “Right to Dry” movement a few years ago. She said using a dryer is a waste of energy and she wishes more of her neighbors would let the wind to handle the job.
“It’s a part of America. Its part of who we are,” said Conley.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )