State Lawmakers, Advocates Highlight Opportunity to Attract Jobs and Investments
Report finds community solar can create thousands of full-time jobs in Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut – Connecticut lawmakers and clean energy advocates presented a new report today revealing the local jobs and economic benefits that could result from community solar during a press conference. Community Solar: Ready to Work for Connecticut, is a jobs and economic benefits report showing how a statewide community solar program in Connecticut could spur 2,580 full-time jobs in 2018. The report also highlights more than $370 million in total local economic benefits for the state in addition to more than $6 million from property tax revenue in the first year of operation.
“While Connecticut legislators work to resolve state budget challenge over the next few months, here is a major opportunity to more than double its solar workforce through a community solar program,” said Sean Garren, Northeast Director at Vote Solar. “This jobs and economic development report highlights the workforce and private investment opportunities of statewide community solar, and we hope lawmakers take advantage of clean energy as a tool for state prosperity during this summer’s special legislative session.”
“In Hartford, we are trying to expand the availability of quality, affordable solar energy,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “I encourage State leaders to support community solar so that underserved communities can participate in the clean energy economy.”
Fairfield State Representative Cristin McCarthy-Vahey added, “The General Assembly struggled this year with creating a bridge from nuclear power to a clean energy future. Community solar mitigates this challenge by dramatically accelerating along the road to renewables. This program gives real access to solar with all of its benefits to many more consumers.”
“Vote Solar’s report confirms that a full-scale community solar program would not only promote equal access to clean energy, but would also add high-wage jobs and generate millions of dollars in property tax revenue and economic benefits,” said Claire Coleman, climate and energy attorney at Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “Many other states already benefit from community solar programs. It is time for Connecticut’s leaders to stand up for a clean energy future that will bring both economic and health benefits to Connecticut residents.”
Community solar gives families, businesses, and local institutions access to the benefits of solar without hosting it on their own roof by allowing subscribers to “plug in” to small local solar projects and receive credit directly on their utility bill. The report, based on a National Renewable Energy Lab economic model, estimates a state economic impact of $374 million for a 200MW community solar program, which would be enough to power more than 20,000 homes with clean energy statewide.
The full report and 1-page fact sheet can be found here: