Solar growth from the Virginia Clean Economy Act could create 29,500 direct solar jobs in Virginia, and tens of thousands of indirect jobs, according to a new study released today by a coalition of rooftop and shared solar companies and advocates. The study also estimates that the bill would generate over $4.3 billion in economic investment over the next decade.
The study, completed by the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, estimates the economic impact of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which would expand distributed solar capacity to 2,500 MW from the 92 MW installed today. The Virginia Clean Economy Act would create a minimum of 2,000 MW of distributed solar by 2030.
Key highlights from the study include:
- Expanding Virginia’s distributed solar capacity to 2,500 MW would grow the Commonwealth’s solar industry to nearly 29,500 professionals and could generate over $4.3 billion in direct economic impacts.
- This expanded investment in distributed solar would lead to an estimated 17,000 more indirect and induced jobs, resulting in over $7 billion in total economic impact.
- This new economic activity would generate over $1 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.
“Expanding rooftop and shared solar could have unbelievable economic consequences for Virginia,” said Rachel Smucker, the Virginia policy and development manager for the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA). “This study reveals how the Virginia Clean Economy Act will spur the creation of tens of thousands of jobs and billions in new investment, contributing to the long-term growth of our economy.”
“Virginia has the opportunity to create a new model for equitable and responsible clean energy growth in the Southeast,” said Maggie Clark, senior manager of Southeast state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The study shows us that the Virginia Clean Economy Act will improve solar energy access for all Virginians while also creating thousands of jobs and spurring billions in private investment. We hope Commonwealth leaders see this opportunity and lead the way for other states in the region.”
“Rooftop and shared solar are the backbone of the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the key word being “economy,” said Karla Loeb, chair of the distributed generation policy committee for the Maryland Delaware Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association and Chief Policy & Development Officer for Sigora Solar. “This study illustrates how the Virginia Clean Economy Act will spur transformational job growth and economic development, insuring that as Virginia transitions to clean energy, away from fossil fuels, we are doing so in the most inclusive and equitable way possible.”
News item from SEIA