Solar energy shines for all New Mexicans
You might wonder who is benefitting from solar PV being installed on homes, businesses, schools and cities in New Mexico? Is it wealthy individuals with lots of spare cash or average New Mexicans?
Recent studies show that working class New Mexicans benefit in two significant ways — job creation and reduced energy costs.
Consider that the solar industry added jobs nearly 20 times faster than the national average in 2014.
Right now, 1,600 New Mexicans make their living in the solar industry. By contrast, the state’s largest utility, PNM, employs 2,100 people. Employment in the solar field has increased 86 percent in the past five years.
The solar boom in New Mexico is creating good jobs for working class Americans during the worst economic downturn in modern times.
These are livable wages. Solar installers make an average of $20 to $24 per hour, solar project managers make $50,000-$70,000 and designers $40,000-$70,000.
Along with these positions, there are also warehouse people, sales people, marketing people, administrative staff and managers — creating a range of opportunities for New Mexicans. Solar jobs are generally more accessible to minorities and to those without advanced degrees.