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Weekly Newsletter March 19, 2012, Volume 18
WHAT CLEAN ENERGY JOBS? THESE CLEAN ENERGY JOBS!
Please find below Volume 18 of E2’s weekly wrap-up of job announcements and project developments in the clean economy. Compiled from news sources around the country, this week’s clean energy jobs report highlights a number of wind and energy efficiency projects throughout the nation.
This week’s newsletter features some exciting solar and public transportation projects. First Solar announced two new solar generation projects in the Midatlantic and Southwest regions. The first, in Hagerstown, MD, comprises a 20MW solar array capable of producing clean energy for 2,700 homes, while generating 125 construction jobs. And the second, located in Tuscon, AZ, will be 26MW and create 200 jobs.
In California, the Department of Transportation announced the approval of a $900 million cost-share project grant, which will extend the Bay Area Rapid Transit “BART” line by 10 miles, connecting it to downtown San Jose. Once underway, the project will create more than 1,600 local jobs.
Read below for more details on the 9 new job announcements in 9 states from this week’s report. To view previous issues of this newsletter, click here.
Spotlight on Melink Corporation
Credit: Mark Byron/Byron Photography
Melink Corporation, headquarted outside of Cincinnati in Milford, Ohio, takes a three-pronged approach to their energy management business: through implementing energy efficiency upgrades, making a more efficient kitchen hood, and renewable energy development, Melink has grown from 60 employees to more than 100 in the past year-and-a-half.
While founder and President Steve Melink traces the company’s beginning to its now globally-sold Intelli-hood, Melink’s renewable energy efforts, including building a 1.7 MW solar canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo, today make it centerpiece in the community. At Melink’s headquarters, they make money when their monthly energy bill arrives, thanks in part to being housed in their ultra-efficient, 33rd-ranked “greenest building” in the world (according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED™ point system), and to the renewable energy generated on site (see photo, left).
If cloudy Germany, with less solar radiation than Ohio, can lead the world in installed solar capacity, Melink says, “we can create a market here in the Midwest.”
First Solar announced plans to build a 20MW solar project in Hagerstown, MD; the energy generated is enough to power approximately 2,700 average homes, and will be sold to FirstEnergy Solutions. Construction is expected to begin in Q2 2012 and completion is planned for Q4 2012.
Hagerstown, MD - Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-6)
Rolls-Royce North America announced the creation of 100 new jobs at the company’s Petersburg, VA facility; the new workers will build parts for next-generation planes that are lighter, faster, and more fuel-efficient.
Petersburg, VA - Sen. Mark Warner (D), Sen. Jim Webb (D), Rep. Randy Forbes (R-4)
Brightergy Solar, a leading solar development and finance firm in the Midwest and Northeast, announced that it will move its headquarters to Kansas City, MO; the company will invest $2.2 million and may receive $1.2 million in Quality Jobs tax incentives if it is successful in creating the 115 jobs proposed in the next five years.
Kansas City, MO - Sen. Roy Blunt (R), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-5)
E. ON’s new Community Energy Assessors project will provide at least 15 jobs by helping local residents who may be struggling with their energy bills. The goal is to carry out 4,000+ home assessments, giving energy efficiency advice and directing low-income customers to a range of financial planning resources.
Birmingham, AL - Sen. Jefferson Sessions (R), Sen. Richard Shelby (R), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-7)
SemiSouth Laboratories, a leading manufacturer of high-voltage silicon-carbide semiconductor devices, announced plans to invest $18 million in equipment to expand plant capacity within the next 18 months. Company officials say the company could double its current workforce of 115 once the expansion is completed.
Starkville, MS - Sen. Thad Cochran (R), Sen. Roger Wicker (R), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-3)
Invenergy announced that plans were approved by state officials to build an 80MW wind farm in Eastern North Carolina. The 49-turbine project will generate enough electricity for as many as 15,000 homes, and is expected to be operational by late 2013.
Beaufort, NC - Sen. Richard Burr (R), Sen. Kay Hagan (D), Rep. Walter Jones (R-3)
First Solar announced that it will build NRG’s 26 MW Avra Valley solar farm; power generated by the project will be sold to Tucson Electric Power under a 20-year PPA. Completion is anticipated for the end of 2012.
Tucson, AZ - Sen. John McCain (R), Sen. Jon Kyl (R), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-7)
The Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Transit Administration will provide $900 million to extend the city of San Francisco’s rapid transit “BART” rail line. Construction is expected to begin in April 2012 and will create more than 1,600 jobs.
San Francisco, CA - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-8)
Columbia Biogas plans to build a $55 million plant in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood. The plant would divert organic material from landfills, break down food waste and generate enough power for 3,000 homes. Initial plans call for the facility to be completed by 2013.
Portland, OR - Sen. Jeff Merkley (D), Sen. Ron Wyden (D), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-3)
NOTE: Each of these job numbers were culled from publicly available announcements of new clean energy ventures. "Status" is used to informally categorize the stage of development of a project, with "in operation" meaning a energy project that has gone live, or a manufacturing facility that is on line. "In Progress" is used for any project in construction or any program just starting, and "Announced" captures those projects in earlier stages of development. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an indication of E2 support for any individual project.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy that builds economic prosperity. E2 is the independent business voice for the environment. We provide a non-partisan resource for understanding the business perspective on environmental issues. Working with our public and private partners, E2 shapes state and national policy that's good for the economy and good the environment. www.E2.org