Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/14/22  10:00 am
Commenter: Nicole Keller

Clean Energy is Critical to Job Growth

Over the past several years, several major companies have chosen to invest in Virginia, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Commonwealth.  Meta, Lego, Siemens, and others have chosen Virginia for their new operations in large part because of our commitment to clean energy.  Major companies want to minimize the carbon footprint of their operations, and preferentially locate in states with infrastructure and policies that allow them to rely on renewable energy. This is the business reality of today. Virginia's expanding wind and solar industries have successfully attracted good paying, blue-collar jobs, not just by attracting major companies, but also by employing Virginians in the clean energy industries, themselves. Distributed solar on residential homes is responsible for the most solar jobs in Virginia. Per megawatt (MW) of installed capacity, residential and small-scale solar creates six to eleven times as many jobs as utility-scale solar.[1] According to a 2020 study by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), there are currently 4,700 jobs and $727 million in economic impact provided by the distributed solar industry in Virginia. This study also investigates the impact of adding 2,500 MW of distributed solar to the state, which would add a total of 47,100 jobs and $7.1 billion in economic impact.[2] Distributed solar creates a range of well-paying jobs that accrue to local communities.   

Investing in clean energy policies is the same as investing in Virginia blue collar jobs. 



[1] “...the residential sector created 38.7 jobs per MW installed, compared to 21.9 jobs for the non-residential sector and 3.3 jobs for utility-scale.” From: The Solar Foundation. 2018. “National Solar Jobs Census 2018.” Pg 30.
[2] Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at Virginia Commonwealth University. April 2020. “Assessing the benefits of distributed solar in Virginia.”

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