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Industry group says Indiana added 960 solar jobs

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's solar power industry added nearly 1,000 jobs last year, an employment surge that boosted the industry's Hoosier job force by 178 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by a solar advocacy group.

The Solar Foundation said Indiana saw 960 new solar industry jobs last year, up from the 540 such jobs in 2012. The Washington, D.C.-based group's annual report summarizing solar energy jobs in each of the 50 states ranked Indiana 25th in solar employment, up two spots from its previous report.

The state's 1,500 solar jobs, largely in manufacturing and installation, still lagged behind adjacent Ohio, which ranked eighth nationally with 3,800 jobs. Adjacent Illinois and Michigan last year had 2,100 and 2,700 solar jobs, respectively, the report said.

The report said that nationwide, the U.S. solar industry employed more than 142,000 Americans in 2013, with a third of those jobs in longtime solar leader California.

Indiana's figures showed that last year it had 50 solar industry companies and more than 400 homes powered by the sun — either with electricity-generating solar panels or solar-thermal units used to heat air and water.

Many of Indiana's solar jobs were people hired to install solar power systems such as crews who last year finished installing 44,000 solar photovoltaic panels on 75 acres at the Indianapolis International Airport. That solar farm generates more than 12 megawatts of power that's being sold to Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

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