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Green Jobs SunPower Corp. creates 1,000 new green construction jobs for solar installations in the U.S.

Published on August 30th, 2010 | by Tina Casey

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SunPower Corp. Sparks 1,000 New Green Jobs with Solar Installations for U.S. Government

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August 30th, 2010 by
 
SunPower Corp. creates 1,000 new green construction jobs for solar installations in the U.S.Solar industry powerhouse Sunpower Corp. is busy creating new green jobs in the renewable energy sector, the latest endeavor being a group of contracts for a minimum of 20 megawatts in new solar installations for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, General Services Administration and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  All together, SunPower estimates that the construction work will create about 1,000 new green jobs in the local communities where the installations are located, in addition to saving taxpayers money by helping to shift the U.S. military into a more stable, low risk form of energy.

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The new projects also illustrate how the Obama administration has stepped up the pace of solar installations at government facilities. SunPower has been installing solar arrays at U.S. government facilities since 1999, for a total of 20 megawatts to date. That’s equal to the minimum amount of solar capacity that will be installed under the new contracts.

New SunPower Solar Installations

The new contracts are peppered around  midwest and western U.S.  They include a 2 MW system  in Colorado, a 1.8 MW system in Indiana, various U.S. Navy facilities in the southwest ranging up to 15 MW (for a total of up to 40 MW), and a 15 MW facility in Arizona. The latter, located at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, will be the largest solar installation to date at any government facility. Expected to be completed next summer, it will supply about half of the energy used at the base, which just goes to show how rapidly we can shift out of fossil fuels given the financial resources and the willpower.

NREL and Solar Energy

The Colorado installation will be at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s campus in Golden. NREL is no stranger to solar installations, having developed a passive solar energy system called transpired solar air collector technology, back in the 1990′s. It was recently installed on the south wall of the new Research Support Facility. It consists simply of a dark, perforated metal plate that is warmed by sunlight. A fan slowly draws the warm air into the building, preheated by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In yet another indication of how the pace of solar installations has ramped up under the Obama administration, this will be the first transpired solar air system at the NREL campus since the 1990′s, when it was used to power equipment at a waste handling facility.

Image: Sunlight by Zanastardust on flickr.com.

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About the Author

Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • http://www.writeidea.info Dan Ogden

    It is good to know that Sunpower Corp. will be installing new green energy systems for the US military but also that this endeavor will create jobs.

  • http://www.thegreenjobbank.com Bernard Ferret

    SunPower is one of my favorites, and in the Top 50 Green Employers on my website. Today they had 168 job openings, and hopefully we’ll see many more in the next few weeks and months.

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