Jobs in solar energy increase in the Commonwealth

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- From 2016 to 2017, the United States saw an overall decrease in solar energy jobs, but Virginia was one of the 29 states that saw an increase, with more than 300 jobs being added.

The imposed tariffs on solar, aluminum and steel in 2018 have not had as much of an impact on solar companies or the price of solar power as was expected, and there are good incentives for starting companies to go solar. For these reasons, solar companies continue to grow because of of the demand for solar power.

"The residential demand and the commercial demand is high enough that we are continuing to hire all across the board from everything from installers to electricians to sales people," said Madeleine Ray, marketing coordinator for Sigora Solar. "That sort of hiring is not going to slow down anytime soon in Virginia."

Madeleine Ray says the job prospects are very good and there are many options, from manufacturing to sales and marketing to installation.

One of the reasons for the nationwide decrease in solar energy jobs is larger companies buying out others and some solar companies changing their focus from installation to manufacturing.

Sigora Solar believes that overall once these changes are sorted out, it will eventually lead to an increase in solar power jobs across the country. However these issues have not impacted Virginia because the solar market is so new here.

"The emerging market is relatively fresh; it's pretty new," Ray said. "So we don't have to deal with sort of the course correction, the market correction that a lot of other states where solar has been established are dealing with."

Sigora Solar says solar energy jobs are projected to continue to grow in Virginia in the coming years.