SEIA - Solar Job Creation Takes Center Stage at Senate Hearing

SEIA member companies testify on job growth, 10 Million Roofs bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, representatives of three Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) member companies testified before a joint meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its Green Jobs Subcommittee. The hearing was convened by full Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Subcommittee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) It focused on Senator Sanders’ 10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Hot Water Act of 2010. This bill, modeled on California’s Million Solar Roofs initiative, would deploy solar on 10 million rooftops nationwide and increase the capacity of solar hot water by 10 million gallons over the course of the next 10 years.
"We applaud Senator Sanders for his leadership and for holding this hearing," said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  "The 10 Million Solar Roofs Act would provide key incentives to adopting both photovoltaic solar and solar hot water.  From plumbers and electricians to installers, manufacturers and construction workers, we're getting more people back to work at the jobs that are the backbone of this country.”
"For every megawatt of photovoltaic solar we add to America's energy portfolio, we create 24 jobs here in the United States. We look forward to working with Senator Sanders and the EPW Committee to improve and pass this important legislation," added Resch.
“The 10 Million Solar Roofs bill, recently introduced by Chairman Sanders, would help homeowners and small businesses stabilize their energy costs by defraying enough of the cost of a solar electric or solar hot water system,” said Jeff Wolfe, co-founder and CEO of solar distributor, installer, and integrator groSolar and Chairman of SEIA’s Photovoltaic (PV) Division. “This type of program has been proven in California with their Million Solar Roof program. Rolling it out nationwide will create jobs in every congressional district, and secure, reliable and clean distributed energy.”
“Today, our growing Ohio operations directly employ over 1,000 associates and remain a nucleus for research and technology innovation,” said Robert Gillette, CEO of thin film manufacturer First Solar. “In a state with over 10 percent unemployment, our operations continue to expand and offer high-tech jobs.”
“Last summer eSolar launched its first commercialscale solar facility, a 5megawatt power plant in Lancaster, California in the heart of the Antelope Valley region. The project created more than 300 jobs at the peak of construction,” said Robert Rogan, Senior Vice President, Americas for utility-scale solar developer eSolar.
If enacted, the 10 Million Solar Roofs Act would provide rebates to residential and commercial property owners to install photovoltaic and solar hot water heating systems. These rebates would help overcome initial cost barriers that have slowed widespread solar adoption, despite 92 percent of the American public agreeing that it is important for the nation to develop and use solar energy.
Background Resources:
SEIA Solar Job Profiles:
National Poll Show More Than Nine Out of 10 Americans Want Solar Now: