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Environment

California Solar Farms Spur Job Growth

Capital Public Radio
Solar panels absorb the sun's rays.

A new report from UC Berkeley shows California leading the nation in the use of solar energy in the last five years. Most of the increase is in the construction of solar farms.

The study shows the state’s use of electricity from renewable sources increased from 11 percent in 2008 to nearly 20 percent last year.

It also found that more than 15,000 new jobs have been created by California’s solar farm construction boom.

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Most of the jobs are in the construction industry where workers are paid on average $78,000 a year plus benefits.

Maintaining and operating the utility-scale facilities pay about $69,000 a year and include jobs created up and down the solar supply chain.

The report finds that utility scale solar electricity generation has quadrupled since 2010.