Thursday, December 2, 2021

As utilities invest billions in solar energy, Wisconsin workers are looking for a larger share of jobs.

With Wisconsin’s utilities spending billions of dollars on solar energy, the state’s construction industry says local workers are bypassed and their communities overlooked ripple effects.

A new study found that local workers can produce more than double the economic activity in their communities than out-of-state workers, highlighting concerns about who benefits from all costs.

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Since Wisconsin residents and businesses will ultimately pay their utility bills, they should benefit from the economic impact of construction, said Robb Cal, chief executive of Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now, a nonprofit that promotes transportation, energy investment. , mining and other infrastructure.

“Most people would agree if we have a very capable workforce,” Kal said. “People are ready and willing to do this work – it must be people.”

And unlike the fossil fuel power plants they are replacing, solar farms do not require a large number of workers to work after they are built.

“In terms of maintenance, there are a couple of hundred people to service a coal mine. A solar power plant employs between five and 10 workers, ”said Kent Miller, assistant commercial director for the Wisconsin County Workers Council. “The only time we can tackle the transition to renewable energy sources is during the construction phase.”

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