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Florida added 1,500 solar jobs in 2013

Published Feb. 12, 2014

The number of solar jobs in Florida grew 60 percent in 2013, raising the state's nationwide rank from 12th to seventh, according to a study released Tuesday.

Florida now employs 4,000 solar workers, an addition of 1,500 in a year, though the state has struggled to keep pace with other states in the number of solar installations. Florida ranks 18th in solar installations, down from 12th.

California employs the most solar workers by far with more than 10 times that of Florida, 47,000, according to the Solar Foundation study. California is followed by Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.

Workers in California, Arizona, New Jersey and Massachusetts account for about 50 percent of the 142,698 solar jobs nationwide. There are people working in the solar field in all 50 states.

"Our state solar jobs research this year clearly shows that solar energy can be harnessed anywhere, and that growth rates are not necessarily associated with geography, total amount of sunshine, or political party," said Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of the Solar Foundation.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@tampbay.com or (727) 892-2332.

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