Utility-Scale Solar Development and Job Creation

Although limited research exists on the broad, community-wide impacts of utility-scale solar development, several recent studies have sought to understand the impacts such facilities may have on employment. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Large-scale Solar Association, and the Vote Solar Initiative have all funded research that predicts how many construction and operation and maintenance (O&M) jobs a solar facility will create. Many solar developers that have proposed projects in the California desert have also predicted the number of jobs their facilities will create both in the construction and operation phases. This analysis compares the results of separate research studies with several developer job projections and the actual employment effects of an existing solar facility (Nevada Solar One). This analysis focuses on the employment impacts of concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities because most facilities proposed for the California desert utilize this type of technology.