May 20th, 2013
Spring is here and summer is around the corner. Here’s the latest news for job seekers in the green economy:
- How teen entrepreneur cultivated a thriving ‘weed’ franchise: When most teenagers are worrying about the trials of high school, Gairad DeCastro was saving money to start his own business. At the age of 17, DeCastro realized that dream and today that business, DeCastro Landscaping, has grown to have 14 workers.
- SolarCity, Goldman Sachs In Big Solar Finance Deal: The solar company unveiled a deal with Wall Street heavy Goldman Sachs that pulls together a half-billion dollars to finance rooftop installations. The announcement gave SolarCity’s stock a jolt, sending it up 10 percent in midday trading to around $35. SolarCity, which lost $31 million in the first quarter this year, went public at $8 in December.
- Wind Power’s Strong Grid Potential In The Mid-Atlantic: Adding more wind power to the grid in the PJM region—Mid-Atlantic power pool consisting of 13 states and Washington, DC—can lower gas and coal consumption and reduce regional wholesale energy market prices, saving nearly $7 billion per year by the mid-2020s, according to a new study conducted by Synapse Energy Economics on behalf of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid.
- Siemens to Build Largest Federal Wind Farm: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded a contract to Siemens Government Technologies to construct the federal government’s largest wind farm. The Pantex wind farm is expected to save an average of $2.9 million annually over the 20-year contract term. The installation will consist of five 2.3 megawatt turbines located on 1,500 acres of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant in Amarillo.
- Emerald H2 and Norfolk Wind Energy Agree to Build Wind-to-Hydrogen Facility: Emerald H2 and Norfolk Wind Energy have signed an agreement to locate Emerald H2’s first Renewable Wind and Hydrogen Production Center in Renville County, Minnesota. The planned 10MW wind and 500,000kg hydrogen project will be the first “Utility Scale” initiative to use energy from wind turbines to produce hydrogen. Once constructed, it will be the largest hydrogen production facility powered by wind energy in the U.S.
April 9th, 2013
It’s time to round up the latest news on the green economy and green jobs. Here’s what we we have:
- McKinstry to Build Community Wind Farm in Washington State: The owners of Swauk Creek Ranch, a privately-owned 3,865-acre reserve in Kittitas County, have partnered with Seattle-based energy and facility services firm McKinstry to develop and construct five wind turbines that will generate electricity for consumption in Kittitas County.
- Fuji Begins US Production of EV Charging Stations: Fuji Electric Corp. of America has announced that U.S. production of their UL-Certified DC Quick Chargers for Electric Vehicles has commenced, with the first production units shipping out of Milpitas, California by late-March. The manufacturer’s 4th Generation 25kW DC Quick Charger features a slimmer design than previous versions, making it an ideal choice for a wide variety of commercial applications.
- Abengoa and BrightSource Energy Partner to Build the World’s Two Largest Solar Power Towers: Abengoa, the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, and BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar thermal technology company, today signed an agreement to jointly develop, build and operate the world’s two largest solar power towers in California. The Palen project consists of two 250 MW units located in a Department of Interior Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County, California. Together the plants will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households and will prevent the emission of about 17 million tons of CO(2) over its life cycle.
- How to reenter the corporate responsibility/sustainability (CR/S) market after an absence: I used to be a CSR Manager for a leading fast-moving consumer goods company. After having my second child, I decided to take five years off to stay at home with my boys. Now that they are school age I want to get back into the market but find that sustainability and CSR has moved on so much since I have been out, and that women needing flexible work schedules are not able to compete. How can I re-enter the sustainability market in a leadership role as a mother?
- Arizona Utility Picks Up Solar Installation Pace: The state’s largest electricity utility, Arizona Public Service,said last week that it added a record 148 megawatts of solar capacity in 2012, impressive enough on its own. But in 2013, new capacity should come in at more than twice that figure.
- St. Louis: Fastest-growing city for tech jobs: Silicon Valley is considered by many to be the tech hub of the nation but it isn’t the region with the fastest growing technology job market; that honor goes to St. Louis, Missouri. Career search site Dice.com recently assessed all of its technology job openings and the Midwestern city showed the most job growth. Tech job postings in St. Louis are up 25 percent over last year. The average salaries are also up, posting a 13 percent increase over last year to $81,245.
February 25th, 2013
As always, the world of green jobs is busy. Here’s a rundown on the latest news:
- 6 green energy summer internships: Are you in the market for summer internship? Although it is only February, now is the time to begin your internship search and get those applications out. To help get you started, here is a list of six green energy summer internships.
- Renewables Still Seeking A Level Playing Field: When critics of wind power and solar power demand that they “stand on their own feet without subsidies,” or some such, they often ignore (or, more charitably, are unaware of) the policy and regulatory support all the energy types receive.
- Siemens to Supply 80 Turbines for North Sea Offshore Wind Farm: Siemens has been awarded an order by wpd group, Germany, to supply, install and service 80 SWT-3.6-120 wind turbines for the Butendiek offshore wind power plant off Germany’s North Sea coast. When it comes online in 2015, the wind power plant’s total generating capacity of 288 megawatts will be sufficient to supply some 370,000 households.
- Wind Led Completed Power Projects by Capacity in 2012: There were 430 power projects completed in 2012, totaling 29,335 MW, according to SNL Energy data. Solar topped the list for the number of projects completed during the year, with 175, and wind came in second, with 136 projects.By capacity, wind led the list, with nearly 13,000 MW, or 44 percent of the total capacity completed.
- Hanergy Buys Silicon Valley Solar Firm MiaSole; Becomes New Clean-Energy Giant: Hanergy Holding Group, China’s largest privately-owned clean-energy company, and the world’s No. 1 thin-film PV-company has finalized its acquisition of US-based MiaSole, giving it a 100% stake in the firm. The China-US strategic partnership follows a 9-month search by MiaSole, which has already attracted more than $550 million from investors including KPCB, Vantage Point and other significant venture investors. Hanergy’s US acquisition follows its purchase of German thin-film maker Solibro last year and now makes Hanergy one of the world’s largest clean-energy companies.
January 7th, 2013
It’s a new year - and that means new opportunities for employment in the green economy. Check out what we’ve found:
- Geothermal Hoping To Steam Ahead In US In 2013: According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, through November, geothermal accounted for 141 megawatts of new electrical generation in 2012. The Geothermal Energy Association put the 2012 figure at 147.05 MW, and noted that this was 5 percent more capacity than geothermal added in 2011, and was the industry’s second-biggest year since 2005.
- Solar Power Manufacturing Jobs Set To Go To San Diego: Global manufacturer Soitec Solar said recently it will open its first large-scale CPV module manufacturing facility in San Diego. The project — supported by a $25 million SUNPATH award from the Energy Department — is expected to support about 450 direct manufacturing jobs and thousands more throughout the solar supply chain.
- SolarCity Has Bang-Up ’12, Sees Big Growth In ’13: The SolarCity IPO in December didn’t go as smoothly or lucratively as the company might have hoped, but it at least made it out the door, a pretty good achievement given the generally lousy atmosphere surrounding renewable energy companies. Now the big solar provider’s fresh update on the business it did in 2012 and its forecast for what might occur in 2013 is generating real optimism. SolarCity stock was up Friday on the news, issued after trading Thursday that it installed 47 megawatts of solar power in the final three months of 2012, pushing its annual total to 156 MW. That’s 10 MW more than it expected to install in 2012, and more than double the 72 MW installed in 2011.
- SC Johnson Powers Up Wind Energy at Company’s Largest Manufacturing Facility: When the blades started spinning yesterday on SC Johnson’s two new wind turbines, the company’s Waxdale manufacturing facility began to further minimize its dependence on fossil fuels. The addition of the turbines means that products made at Waxdale - trusted brands like Scrubbing BubblesÆ, GladeÆ and WindexÆ - will now be made using clean energy. The wind turbines will produce about eight million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, enough to power 700 homes in a year. Combined with two cogeneration turbines that have been in place since the mid-2000s, the facility is now able to produce an average of 100 percent of its electrical energy onsite.
November 19th, 2012
Leaves are falling, winter is around the economy - but the green economy is going strong! Here’s the latest news:
- First Wind Completes Bull Hill Wind Project: First Wind has announced that construction of its 34 megawatt (MW) Bull Hill Wind project has been completed and commercial operations have begun. Located on the ridges of Bull Hill and Heifer Hill in Hancock County, Maine, the project features 19 1.8 MW wind turbines that have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power nearly 18,000 homes. Construction on the Bull Hill Wind project started earlier this year and created an average of 200 construction-related jobs.
- juwi Wind Secures Financing for Minnesota Wind Farm: juwi Wind has secured financing for the Community Wind South project, a 30 MW wind farm in southwestern Minnesota currently being constructed. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
- Broadwind Energy Wins $37 Million in Tower Orders: Broadwind Energy has been awarded tower orders totaling approximately $37 million from two U.S. wind turbine manufacturers, for manufacture beginning in late 2012 and extending well into 2013. The towers will be produced in the Company’s Manitowoc, WI facility.
- Product takeback and e-waste recycling: A growing business opportunity: Malk Sustainability Partners (MSP) engaged 29 global information technology (IT) companies and five industry experts to investigate the key drivers, important issues, and popular strategies behind this sector’s adoption of SSCM. Corporate respondents included hardware manufacturers like Hewlett Packard, Dell, Sony, Motorola, and Ericsson; component manufacturers like Intel, ST Microelectronics, SanDisk, Advanced Micro Devices, and Applied Materials; cloud software companies like Cisco Systems, IBM, and Oracle; and enterprise buyers of electronic equipment like eBay.
- Fisker opening Technical Center in Midwest to develop Atlantic plug-in hybrid: Fisker Automotive has shed more light on its upcoming Fisker Atlantic plug-in hybrid. The company is opening up a new Technical Center in the Midwest for the launch of its second model, which looks a little like a smaller version of the first oneThe company plans to open this facility in the Spring of 2013, potentially in Southeastern Michigan. It’s meant to pave the way for “ongoing development” of the Atlantic, and is being done to bring Fisker closer to its key component suppliers. It’s also fairly close (compared to the California HQ, at least) to Fisker’s potential production facility in Delaware.
September 17th, 2012
As the summer winds down, many consumers are weatherstripping and insulating their houses. The green economy is still growing - but the wind industry is waiting on Congress to reapprove its tax credits. What else is happening? Let’s see:
- U.S. DOT Announces $59.3M For Clean Energy Transit Projects: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced almost $60 million in new funding to help transit agencies purchase and support cleaner vehicles. According to Sect. LaHood, the funds will be used to power 27 different transit projects across the nation. Emphasis will be placed on securing cleaner, greener buses capable of reducing harmful emissions and improving fuel economy while also delivering a more comfortable, reliable ride for passengers.
- Solar Market Spikes With 742 MW In Solar Installations In Q2 2012: U.S. solar achieved its second-best quarter in history, having installed 742 megawatts of solar power, and the best quarter on record for the utility market segment. Utility installations hit 477 megawatts in the second quarter, with eight states posting utility installations of 10 megawatts or greater: California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico, and New Jersey.
- How to ensure your career is having an impact: Did you ever consider whether your career has an impact? Before you consider the question though, let’s consider what “impact” means in the context of your career. From my experience as a sustainability recruiter, I see three types of impact jobs.
- Red states equal green jobs:If you look at the growth of “green” jobs in the U.S., it’s hard to miss something interesting: Heavily Republican states are deeply involved in renewable energy development. That’s the observation from a report authored by Nancy Pfund and Michael Lazar of DBL Investors, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. The report’s authors have a point to make: They call for the renewal of federal credits for wind and solar power.
- CBD Energy Launches Renewable Energy Business in the U.S.:CBD Energy has announced its plans to launch its portfolio of renewable energy businesses in the U.S. market. The company also recently announced a proposed merger with Westinghouse Solar, Inc “CBD Energy’s pending merger with Westinghouse Solar offers an ideal platform for the expansion of our renewable energy business into the world’s largest market,” said Gerry McGowan, Managing Director and CEO of CBD Energy Ltd. “In addition to building upon Westinghouse Solar’s business in the U.S., CBD Energy plans for U.S. operations built around its core strengths in design, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of commercial solar projects; energy efficiency and storage technologies; and energy services.
- NRDC: Typical Wind Farm Supports Nearly 1,100 Jobs; Adds Millions of Dollars to Local Communities:Each major wind farm in America creates nearly 1,100 jobs and can add tens of millions of dollars in new taxes and other benefits to the communities where they’re located, according to two new reports from the Natural Resources Defense Council A new 250-megawatt wind farm will create 1,079 jobs throughout the many steps of building that wind farm, according to the NRDC report “American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production.” These are positions in manufacturing, construction engineering and management, among other areas.
July 2nd, 2012
Here’s the latest and greatest news from the green job world:
- 58% of Americans are optimistic about solar job market: Applied Materials is celebrating the solstice with the release of its annual solar energy survey, which examines consumer awareness about the solar industry in the United States, China, India and Japan. One of the questions asked in the survey was “How do you think the growth of the solar market will impact the job market?” Overall, 46 percent of respondents felt that growth in the solar market would have a positive impact on the broader job market through job creation.
- Clean Energy Jobs Find Fertile Ground In Maryland: Almost half of the 179 green businesses polled in the 2012 Maryland Clean Energy Industry Survey expect to employ more workers in 2012 compared to 2011, and nearly 13 percent already employ more than 100 workers.
- 350-MW Solar Farm Backed On Nevada Reservation: The Obama administration’s push for big renewable energy projects is making its way into Indian Country. The Department of the Interior on Thursday approved a 350-megawatt solar project sought by the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians in Clark County, Nevada. It’s the 31st utility-scale renewable energy project approved by the department – there had been none before the Obama administration – but the first ever on Indian land.
- The real prize for GM’s EcoCar2 challenge? A job offer: In EcoCar2 Challenge, General Motors will give away approximately $100,000 in prizes to the students participating in the alternative fuels vehicle competition. But for some students, the real prize will be a steady paycheck. Headliners GM and the Department of Energy, along with 25 suppliers, sponsor EcoCar2, a three-year alternative fuels vehicle competition, as a way to encourage college students to enter the automotive industry.
- Policy for energy-efficient buildings promises big economic boost: On Wednesday — the same day that the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law — the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on new developments for financing building energy efficiency developments that do not depend on ongoing federal involvement. With the court decision as news competition, it would have been easy to not have heard about the hearing. Though it was a narrow glimpse into a large, dynamic and growing industry, this was important and merits attention.<
May 7th, 2012
Here’s the latest installment in our overview of careers and the green economy - enjoy!
- The top 10 hardest-working towns in America: The country may be filled with hardworking employees, but a new poll shows no one is working harder than the residents of Columbia, Mo The state’s fifth-largest city and the home of the University of Missouri took the top spot in a newly released list by Parade Magazine naming the “Top 25 Hardest-Working Towns in America.
- US Wind Power Surges: Boom Before The Bust?: Racing to beat the expiration of a key tax incentive, the U.S. wind industry installed 1,695 megawatts (MW) of new capacity in the first quarter of the year, a 52 percent increase over the same quarter in 2011,according to an industry trade group.The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said 788 turbines began generating power in 17 states in the first three months of the year as developers pushed to get new plants into service before the end of the year in order to qualify for the federal production tax credit.
- Green Jobs Must Ensure Gender Pay Equality Worldwide: Green jobs in the clean energy sector grew at twice the rate of jobs in the general economy during the peak of the recession from 2008–2010. While these new statistics tell a promising story for the growth of the green economy and nation’s job recovery as a whole, the potential for women to participate in this economic growth—both domestically and internationally—still remains unclear.
- ACCIONA to Install First 3 MW Turbines in North America: ACCIONA Windpower has announced that it will install two of its AW-3000/116, 3MW wind turbines this year in Cedar County, Iowa. The groundbreaking project, called Pioneer Grove, will be the first installation of the game-changing machine in North America.The Pioneer Grove Wind Farm is located nearest to the town of Mechanicsville, Iowa. Construction is expected to be complete in the second half of 2012. The renewable energy power plant has a long-term power purchase agreement with Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO).
- Clean Energy, Efficiency Continue To Spark Job Growth: How would you judge a program that invested $9 billion over three years and generated $44 billion in economic output, while supporting 52,000 to 75,000 jobs in the process? And over the long term, is expected to support about 5,000 jobs a year for the next few decades, as well as $1.8 billion a year in economic output? Sounds like a solid investment, right? But some in Congress would like you to overlook these numbers, from a new report by the Department of Energy, because the program in question was designed to fund renewable energy projects.
- MidAmerican Solar and First Solar Start Construction on Largest Solar Project in the World: MidAmerican Solar and First Solar have marked the start of major construction at Topaz Solar Farms, located in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 550-megawatt photovoltaic project will employ approximately 400 workers during its three-year construction period; will generate nearly $417 million in local economic impact, the majority of which will be generated during construction; and will provide California with renewable electricity. When complete, the Topaz project will be the largest solar electric power plant in the world, providing enough energy to power approximately 160,000 average California homes.
April 9th, 2012
Here’s our latest roundup of the job news in the green economy:
- Do Environmental Regulations Kill Jobs or Create Them?: The E.P.A. and the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which reviews all proposed federal regulations, have never used job figures as part of the calculus of the costs and benefits of rule-making, largely because there is no accepted methodology for assessing them. But on Tuesday, the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University’s School of Law said in a new report that despite the limitations of current methods of measuring job gains and losses, they should be considered when drawing up future environmental rules.
- The Best U.S. Cities For Finding A Job: 49 of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the United States reported an increase in the number of job openings in the past month. According to the Simply Hired April 2012 Employment Outlook, the Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., metropolitan area outpaced all other cities in job openings. The state of Florida continued to see increased growth, with four of the top 10 cities for job opening growth.
- 10 people who switched careers to do something sustainable: The recession has led to a whole lot of rethinking — of goals and even careers. Rather than wait for the ideal job (or any job) to come along, people are creating opportunities for themselves and even bringing others along with them. They’re following what they once thought of as Plan B — or even Plan C — and often acting on the impulse to give back to the planet without leaving home.
- A launch pad for green and clean entrepreneurs: Carrie Norton has harnessed her experience in start-ups and sustainability to launch Green Business Base Camp, a service aimed at giving aspiring entrepreneurs with green or cleantech ideas a crash course in the skills and insights needed to succeed. It starts with a four-day intensive in-person workshop, supplemented with online resources and continued mentoring. To do this, Norton has pulled together a network of successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, thought leaders, corporate executives, and various others who will serve as teachers, mentors, and, potentially, investors in start-ups.
- Does Small Hydroelectric Power Have a Future?: Across the United States, changes are afoot that are making smaller-scale energy generation make appealing. One of the major benefits of this localized power is that it enables us to take advantage of renewable resources that were previously out of reach. This is particularly true for hydroelectric power. In fact, without smaller scale generation, hydro doesn’t have much of a future at all.
February 3rd, 2012
Here’s the latest from the world of green jobs:
- EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Travels to San Francisco to Highlight Green Jobs, Tour Electric Vehicle Company that will announce its Plans to Double Bay Area Green Jobs: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will visit San Francisco today, on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union Address, to discuss the future of “green” jobs in the Bay Area at a company that will announce plans to double their San Francisco workforce. Jackson will discuss the local impact of issues laid out in the President’s speech during a tour of Mission Motors, a local SF green business that provides powertrain components for hybrid and electric vehicles. Mission is at the center of American ingenuity and clean technologies President Obama discussed in his State of the Union Address.
- Obama puts green jobs front and center: The president, during his annual speech, made references to action items like the Navy purchasing enough clean energy capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year and calling for the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. We felt at the time these seemed like less ambitious goals than last year in regards to cleantech, but with what’s been spelled out now by the White House, we think Obama may well be on the right track for an election year.
- Illinois Recovers Florida’s Fumbled Light-Rail Dough: More than 100 million people live within 500 miles of each other in the Midwest-Great Lakes economic region and at rush hour, it can seem like they are all on the road at the same time. To help alleviate that congestion, trim the massive amount of energy used to move all those people in single-driver cars, generate jobs and clean the environment, the federal government is investing in light-rail in a big way. The U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) has already invested more than $1.4 billion dollars to create an extensive light-rail network in the region and now, thanks to a baffling move by the state of Florida, Illinois is to supplement one of the network’s main corridors, a high-speed line reaching from Chicago to St. Louis.
- Montana’s Renewable Energy Storage Plans: Utility company NorthWestern Energy has signed a lease agreement with Beacon Power Corporation for a one-megawatt Beacon Smart Energy Matrix flywheel system to be installed at NorthWestern’s Dave Gates Generating Station at Mill Creek. The 150 MW natural gas fired facility, near the town of Anaconda, was designed to function as a regulating resource capable of precise load following.
- First Wind Receives Approval from Maine DEP for 150 MW Oakfield Wind Project: First Wind has received unanimous approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for its proposed 150 MW Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County, Maine. First Wind submitted an amendment in June 2011 to increase the size of the original proposal for a 51 MW Oakfield project, which had received full approval from the Maine DEP in January 2010.
- Federal Government Opens More Ocean to Wind Projects: Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, and Tommy P. Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said the government had completed an environmental review and found that selling leases for wind energy would not create environmental problems in the designated “wind energy areas” off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.