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Report: Arizona Leads Nation in Clean Energy Hiring

Original headline: Renewable-energy project gives state fastest clean-energy job growth

By Brittany Bade for Cronkite News

LOC San Luis Tower

A rendering of the proposed Solar Wind Energy Tower in San Luis, which designers say would generate power by forcing cooled air through turbines at the tower’s base. The $1.5B plant will employ 2,350 workers. Rendering courtesy of Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc.

Arizona businesses announced plans earlier this year to hire more than 3,000 workers in clean-energy industries, letting the state claim the biggest growth in renewable-energy jobs in the nation for the second quarter of 2014.

A report released Thursday by Environmental Entrepreneurs said the bulk of the new Arizona jobs – and a large share of the total planned for the nation – could be attributed to the proposed Solar Wind Energy Tower project in San Luis (AZBEX, May 2, 2014). Developers of that project said they plan to add 2,350 workers, with most of those being construction jobs at the $1.5 billion plant.

That announcement allowed Arizona to knock California out of first place for the quarter.

The report does not measure actual hiring but only a company’s announced plans to hire workers across the range of clean-energy industries, from solar- and wind-power generation to electric vehicles and insulation.

The biggest numbers by far came from the San Luis project. Even though most of the jobs announced this spring will be temporary, backers said they will still provide years of employment in the area.

Officials say the San Luis project is just one example in a state that is well positioned for “great growth” in renewable energy in coming years.

The San Luis project was one of five in Arizona that announced hiring plans in the second quarter, according to the report. It said Jinko Solar plans to add 300 jobs in Pima County by the end the year, while Vivant Solar, Luke Air Force Base and OneRoof Energy plan to add a total of 410 solar jobs in the Phoenix metro area.

Read more at Cronkite News