Solar workers from across Maine used social media today to post stories and photos of the work they do using the hashtag #SolarJobsForME

Though Maine has had no state solar rebate since 2010, Maine’s solar industry – comprised of independently owned, small businesses – has grown steadily in the past 7 seven years, thanks to the rapid decline in the costs of solar equipment. Maine’s solar workforce grew by 73% from 2015-16, making Maine one of the top 10 states nationwide in per-capita solar job growth.

Despite its tremendous growth potential, Maine’s solar industry finds itself under threat from an extreme anti-solar rule change by Maine’s Public Utilities Commission. Though the Maine PUC conducted a ‘Value of Solar’ study which found that solar exported to the grid is a net value to everyone, the PUC has ruled to throttle down net metering benefits over time and to create a new tax on behind-the-meter solar production (similar to letting a grocery store charge people for growing their own tomatoes). This backwards-looking rule change, should it come into effect, would threaten the existing 570+ solar jobs in Maine and erode the ability of the industry to add new jobs to Maine’s economy.

Maine’s solar workers are using the May 1 “Maine Solar Workers Day” online event to capture the attention of Maine’s Legislature, who will soon be evaluating several solar bills which could potentially fix the PUC’s ruling and stabilize Maine solar policy. Maine’s solar industry asks for an energy policy that moves away from a monopoly model and towards a market-driven approach that leverages different technologies and different business models to unlock economic opportunities locally and to lower costs (and carbon pollution) for everyone.

 

Happy Solar Workers Day! Happy Monday y’all! Do what you love, love what you do! #SolarJobsForMe #solar #maine #loveyourjob

A post shared by Mondrian Shumate (@mondrianrene) on


There is more! Just search for the hashtag (#SolarJobsForME) on Twitter, Instagram, and Twitter!

For any media interested, ReVision Energy is able to facilitate visits to solar job sites at various locations in Maine.

Some stats on solar jobs (via The Solar Foundation):

  • One out of every 50 new jobs added in the United States in 2016 was created by the solar industry, representing 2% percent of all new jobs.
  • Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total solar industry employment increase by 10 percent to 286,335 solar workers.
  • The solar workforce nationwide employs nearly double the number of workers in the coal industry, and more than Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.

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