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Minnesota Solar Jobs Census 2013


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Minnesota Solar Jobs Census 2013

  1. 1. s
 F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4 Analysis of the Minnesota Solar Workforce Minnesota Solar Jobs Census 2013
  2. 2. Acknowledgements: The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms markets. In 2010, The Solar Foundation® released its first National Solar Jobs Census report. Census 2010 established the first credible national solar jobs baseline and verified the positive impact the solar industry is having on the U.S. economy. Using the same rigorous, peer-reviewed methodology, TSF has conducted an annual Census in each of the last four years to track changes and analyze trends in the solar industry labor market. ! This year s National Solar Jobs Census report series was produced by TSF and BW Research Partnership, with the support of the following research partners: • The George Washington University’s Solar Institute (GW Solar Institute); • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); and • The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC). !TSF would like to acknowledge and thank its sponsors. Without their foresight and leadership, this report would not have been possible: • Energy Foundation; • SolarCity; • Sierra Club; • Recurrent Energy; • GTM Research and SEIA for providing complimentary copies of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2012 Year in Review report to survey respondents; and • Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations for helping to validate the methodological framework for Census 2010-2012. !TSF and BW Research also want to thank all of the Minnesota solar employers that participated in the survey. Your responses were critical in providing us with the high level of accurate and timely data needed to produce this report. !For questions or comments about this report, please contact either: !Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director The Solar Foundation® 505 9th Street, NW - Suite 800 Washington, DC 20004 202-469-3750; !Philip Jordan, Principal and Vice-President BW Research Partnership 50 Mill Pond Dr. Wrentham, MA 02093 (508) 384-2471; !Please cite this publication when referencing this material as “Minnesota Solar Jobs Census 2013, The Solar Foundation, available at:” ! Cover Photo Courtesy groSolar
  3. 3. About The Solar Foundation® The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is an independent national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms markets. TSF is considered the premier research organization on the solar labor force, employer trends, and economic impacts of solar. It has provided leading-edge industry insight to the National Academies, the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations during a time of dynamic industry growth and policy and economic uncertainty. While TSF recognizes that solar energy is a key part of our energy future, it is committed to excellence in its aim to help people fairly and objectively gauge the value of the solar industry worldwide. About BW Research Partnership BW Research is widely regarded as the national leader in labor market analysis for emerging industries and clean energy technologies. In addition to the Census series, BW Research has conducted rigorous solar installation and wind industry labor market analysis for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wind energy and energy retrofit studies for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a series of comprehensive clean energy workforce studies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Illinois, and Vermont, and numerous skills and gap analyses for community colleges, workforce investment boards, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations. BW Research provides high quality data and keen insight into economic and workforce issues related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, recycling, water, waste, and wastewater management, and other environmental fields. The principals of the firm are committed to providing research and analysis for data-driven decision-making. About The George Washington University Solar Institute The George Washington University Solar Institute (GW Solar Institute) is a unique research and information center focused on identifying, developing, and sharing pragmatic and politically attuned solutions to the policy barriers preventing the adoption and scale of solar energy. Toward these ends, the GW Solar Institute pursues research projects in a wide range of disciplines, typically in partnership with other university faculty, industry experts, and GW students. In addition, the GW Solar Institute also leverages its intricate knowledge of the policymaking process and location in Washington, DC to convene stakeholders and provide decision-makers with unbiased new ideas on solar related policies, regulatory approaches, and government investments.
  4. 4. 1. Introduction The U.S. solar industry continued it trend of record growth in 2013. The industry employs 142,698 solar workers  across the entire value chain—from research and development through1 installation and maintenance. Market indicators, as well as employers’ reported optimism, each suggest little sign of a slowdown. After record 19.9% employment growth since September 2012, employers expect to grow their payrolls by 15.6% nationally through November 2014, while continuing to become more efficient and competitive. These projections suggest the addition of 22,240 new solar jobs nationally in the coming year. Though perhaps not what one would think of as a “traditional” solar state, Minnesota has managed to build a respectably-sized solar market over the past decade or so. With 16.2 megawatts (MW) of cumulative installed solar capacity,  the state generates enough electricity2 from solar each year to meet the needs of almost 2,100 average Minnesota homes.  These figures3 place Minnesota as the 28th largest state solar market in terms of total installed capacity. The 864 solar workers supported by this industry in 2013 give the state a similar ranking in terms of solar employment—31st out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Minnesota’s modest annual capacity growth over the last several years has been supported by a basic collection of policies, including the state’s respectable net energy metering rules. The recent uptick in installations starting around 2010 (see Figure 1) can be largely credited to Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program, through which the utility provided its commercial, residential, nonprofit, and local government customers with substantial rebates (up to $5.00/watt for certain systems manufactured in Minnesota). Recent substantial policy changes, however, place Minnesota on the cusp of a potential solar boom that may see total installed capacity grow by several hundred megawatts by the end of the decade. One of the changes expected to lead this flurry of new installations is the state’s first solar electricity standard, which requires Minnesota’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to 4 For this study, the definition of a solar worker is any person who spends at least 50% of their time conducting1 solar activities. Nationally, 91% of these solar workers spend 100% of their time conducting solar activities. In Minnesota, 80.8% of solar workers spend all of their time conducting solar activities. Sherwood/Interstate Renewable Energy Council, L. (2013). U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012. Retrieved from2; Kann/ GTM Research, S., Mehta/ GTM Research, S., Shiao/ GTM Research, M., Honeyman/ GTM Research, C., Litvak/ GTM Research, N., Jones/ GTM Research, J., . . . Baca/ SEIA, J. (2013). Solar Market Insight 2013 Q3 | SEIA. Retrieved from SEIA (2014). What's in a Megawatt? | SEIA. Retrieved from photovoltaic-solar-electric/whats-megawatt.
  5. 5. derive at least 1.5% of retail electricity sales in 2020 from solar energy in addition to what is already required under its renewable energy standard. On its own, this solar standard is expected to result in the addition of 450 MW of new solar capacity in the state in just seven years. Another recent addition to Minnesota’s solar policy toolkit was the nation’s first-ever statewide Value of Solar (VOS) tariff, a variation on traditional net metering programs designed to credit customers for the all solar electricity their systems produce at a rate that takes into consideration all the costs and benefits associated with distributed solar. Once a methodology for calculating the VOS tariff has been approved, IOUs will have the option to offer this tariff in lieu of net metering, but will not be required to do so. 4 Minnesota also recently adopted its “Made in Minnesota” production incentive, under which customers across several sectors are eligible to receive from between $0.13-$0.18 per kilowatt-hour (for commercial customers) to $0.29-$0.39/kWh for residential customers for solar electricity generated from qualified solar modules manufactured in the state. Included among these reforms was also a mandate that Xcel Energy develop and operate a community solar garden program, which would make solar energy accessible to rate payers for whom a rooftop system is not an option.  Given the scope of these sweeping policy changes, this Census report5 was primarily conducted in order to provide an employment baseline from which to measure future growth in solar jobs resulting from the rapid increase in new solar installations anticipated over the next several years. Figure 1: Installed Solar Capacity—Minnesota
 5 Tomassoni/ Minnesota Senate, D., & Mahoney/ Minnesota House of Representatives, T. (n.d.).Chapter 85 -4 Revisor of Statutes (2013). Retrieved from Office of the Revisor of Statuses website: laws/?id=85&year=2013&type=0. Id.5 0" 1" 2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 2006" 2007" 2008" 2009" 2010" 2011" 2012" 2013" Megawa&s( ( Source:"SEIA"and"GTM"Research,""Solar"Market"Insight""report"series;"Larry"Sherwood,"IREC" Minnesota(Annual(Solar(Power(Capacity(Installa8ons,(2006=2013( Addi8onal(PV(Expected((Q4(2013)( Photovoltaics((MW=dc)(
  6. 6. Methodology The data in this report are collected from a census of the solar industry and a representative sample of employers throughout the value chain of activities that contribute to the industry. As with the National Solar Jobs Census, this report includes information about all types of companies, from component manufacturers to installation subcontactors, engaged in the production, sale, installation, and use of all solar technologies, ranging from PV to CSP to solar water heating systems across the residential, commercial, and utility market segments. Unlike economic impact models that generate employment estimates based on economic data (such as company revenue) or jobs-per-megawatt (or jobs-per-dollar) assumptions, the National Solar Jobs Census series provides statistically valid and current data gathered from actual employers. The primary data contained in this report are drawn from a mixed-method survey administered directly to employers. Data collection occurred during October and November 2013 in two stages: (1) through a survey of so-called “known universe” establishments; and (2) via a random sampling of businesses within various construction, sales and distribution, and manufacturing industries. For this Minnesota report, 17,152 telephone calls were attempted and approximately 50 emails were sent to potential solar establishments across the state. This mixed approach, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes as the emerging standard,  given its own limitations in6 calculating solar employment, allows us to draw broad conclusions about the solar industry with a high degree of confidence, as well as generate accurate, local level employment estimates. Over 3,313 Minnesota employers participated in the survey, resulting in 139 full survey completions. The level of information gathered is truly astounding, with 49% of all potential solar establishments statewide providing information on their activities connected to the industry. This results in a low margin of error of +/-1.2% and allows for extremely high confidence in these state data. The figures included in this report are conservative estimates, meaning that there may well be more solar workers than reported herein. It is also important to mention that there are limits to the survey approach. Because the research findings are based on survey responses, the employment growth figures cited in the following sections represent employers’ best estimates of how many jobs they will add over the coming year. As seen in the National Solar Jobs Census reports, actual growth may vary. In addition, this report includes employment and demographic information at the state and federal legislative-district level. Conducting small-sample estimation is a very challenging and labor-intensive exercise. For this study, a significant oversample of Minnesota firms was required 6 ! Based on conversations with BLS staff in 2010.6
  7. 7. to gather enough responses to make estimates for 67 legislative districts and eight congressional districts. The analysis includes constructing zip-code distribution allocations for each district in the known and unknown databases, small-area means derivation, and comparisons to labor market statistics and demographic data. The results of this rigorous work are included in the tables in Section 3.
 7 Photo Courtesy NREL
  8. 8. 2. Labor Market Analysis: Overview of the Industry The solar industry in Minnesota employs 864 solar workers, a figure which represents 73% employment growth from the approximately 500 employed by the industry in September 2012. This compares quite favorably with overall statewide job growth of 2% over the same period. 7 Employers expect continued growth over the next 12 months, anticipating the addition of nearly 250 jobs (28.3% growth in employment through November 2014), with about one in four employers expecting to add jobs and fewer than 3% expecting to reduce the size of their workforce (Figure 2). Figure 2: Employer Expectations, 12 Months—Minnesota Survey respondents were asked several questions to better understand their activities and ensure that they are in fact working in the solar industry. Figure 3 on the following page illustrates the breakdown of Minnesota establishments, which are mostly focused on installation and sales or trade. ! 8 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (2014). MNDEED - LMI - CES.7 Retrieved February 7, 2014, from More 24.7% Same number 67.1% Fewer 2.7% DK/NA 5.5%
  9. 9. Figure 3: Percentage of Respondents by Sector Table 1: Data by Sector—Number of Solar Workers in Minnesota *2013 employment in “Other” includes 11 solar workers at nonprofits, 11 in government, and 3 in academia. Taken together, data on the percentage of respondents by sector and the number of employees each employs can provide a general sense of the size of some of these companies. The manufacturing sector, for example, represents only 6.8% of total respondents, but accounts Sector 2013 Jobs 2014 Projected Employment 2013 - 2014 Expected Growth Rate Installation 394 508 29% Manufacturing 124 172 39% Sales and Distribution 96 109 14% Project Development 121 179 48% Other* 129 141 9.3% Total 864 1,108 28% 9 56.2% 16.4% 6.8% 5.5% 4.1% 1.4% 0.0% 8.2% 1.4% Installation Sales / Trade Manufacturing / Assembling Project Development Nonprofit Government Academic Other (Including R&D) Don't know
  10. 10. for 14% of all solar workers, which means that the average manufacturing firm employs more workers than firms in some other sectors. A similar conclusion may be drawn for companies focused on project development, which constitute 5.5% of respondents while accounting for 14% of workers. Minnesota firms are highly focused on photovoltaics (80.8%) and water heating (41.1%), roughly consistent with their national peers (Figure 4). Figure 4: Solar Establishments by Technology Area In order to determine the proportion of business activities focused on solar, firms were asked to provide the percentage of revenue derived from solar sales. Minnesota firms are more likely to be engaged in both solar and non-solar activities, with only 20.5% earning all of their revenue from solar goods or services (Figure 5). This compares to 44% nationally.
 10 8.2% 11.0% 9.6% 41.1% 80.8% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DK/NA Other Concentrating solar power Water heating, which includes pool heating Photovoltaic
  11. 11. Figure 5: Company Revenues Attributed to Solar Minnesota employers were queried on whether the new solar workers added from November 2012 to November 2013  were newly created positions or were existing employees8 who took on new solar-related tasks. In Minnesota, 72.1% of the new solar jobs over the past year were newly created positions, basically consistent with the 76.9% reported nationally (Figure 6). Figure 6: New Positions at Solar Establishments 11 Fourteen months separated the data collection from Census 2012 — 2013. For this question, however, firms8 were asked about their employees hired over the last 12 months, a slightly shorter time period but consistent with employer surveys. Newly created positions 72.1% Existing employees given added solar responsibilities 27.9% 20.5% 13.7% 61.6% 4.1% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% All of it (100%) Most but not all (50% to 99%) Less than half (1% to 49%) DK/NA
  12. 12. For Minnesota establishments that reported new solar employment over the previous year, 70.6% indicated that those hired were required to have previous work experience related to the position, much higher than the national average of 50.2%. Educational qualifications commonly sought by Minnesota employers differ markedly from what was observed at the national level. Thirty-eight percent of new solar workers had an associate’s degree or certification from an accredited college, compared with only 13% nationwide. Nearly 15% of new Minnesota workers had a least a bachelor’s degree, compared with over 27% nationally. Figure 7: Background of Newly Hired Solar Workers - Percent of Workers ! Survey respondents were asked to provide a demographic profile of their solar workers. In Minnesota, 8.8% of the solar workforce are women, 1.8% are African American, 10.4% are Latino/Hispanic, and 4.4% are Asian/Pacific Islander. Minnesota solar establishments employ veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces at a high rate. Seventeen percent of the Minnesota solar workforce are veterans, which is significantly higher than the national average for the industry of 9.2%, and over twice the proportion of veterans represented in the overall U.S. workforce. ! 12 14.7% 38.2% 70.6% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Required a bachelors degree or beyond Required an associates degree or certificate from an accredited college, but not a bachelor's degree Required previous work experience related to the position
  13. 13. 2.1 Detailed Labor Market Analysis—Installation As previously reported, the Minnesota solar industry is made up predominantly of firms engaged in the installation sector. Due to the small but growing size of the market, statistically significant information on the additional sectors is unavailable. The respondents in the installation sector, however, did provide relevant information about their activities to be included. Solar installation firms in Minnesota are focused primarily on photovoltaics, while almost one in three install water heating and pool heating products. Concentrating solar power (CSP) is used only in very small demonstration projects in Minnesota. Figure 8: Solar Establishments by Technology Area—Installers 13 90.2% 31.7% 2.4% 4.9% 4.9% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Photovoltaic Water heating, which includes pool heating Concentrating solar power Other Don't know/ Refused Photo Courtesy groSolar
  14. 14. Unlike the national average, more Minnesota solar installers are focused on small commercial systems, rather than residential installations. Figure 9: Solar Establishments by Project Size—Installers Minnesota installation firms also differ from their peers across the country in their responses to why they believe their customers are adopting solar power. Nationally, installation firms saw cost as their customers’ primary motivation to go solar (“to save money” or “solar energy prices are now more competitive with utility”), while in Minnesota, 22.5% reported “to benefit the environment and mitigate climate change.” This compares with only 8.3% of installers nationally (Figure 10). Figure 10: Primary Reasons Customers Choose to Install Solar—Installers
 14 5.4% 5.4% 24.3% 67.6% 78.4% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Large commercial and industrial 201 kilowatts or larger Utility scale projects that deliver wholesale electricity Medium to large commercial and industrial systems Residential systems Small commercial systems up to 50 kilowatts 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.0% 5.0% 15.0 22.5% 42.5% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% DK/NA Other They know a neighbor, friend, or family member who installed solar To make America more energy independent To have power when the grid goes down Solar energy costs are now more competitive with utility To benefit the environment and mitigate climate change To save money
  15. 15. 3. Geographic Data The high cooperation rates and extensive sampling allowed for detailed geographic analysis of the Minnesota solar workforce. Sixty-four percent of the Minnesota solar workforce is found in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, representing 554 of the 864 solar workers in the state. The data also include information about each of the 67 legislative districts and eight congressional districts in Minnesota, presented in the tables and maps below. Figure 11: Employment by State Legislative Districts ! 15
  16. 16. Table 2: Employment by State Legislative Districts Legislative District Total Empl. Women African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian/Pac Islander Veterans 1 6 0 0 0 0 1 2 12 0 0 0 0 3 3 20 1 0 2 1 4 4 7 0 0 0 0 1 5 11 1 0 1 0 2 6 9 1 0 1 0 2 7 3 0 0 0 0 1 8 12 1 0 1 0 2 9 11 0 0 0 0 2 10 7 0 0 0 0 1 11 7 0 0 0 0 1 12 9 0 0 0 0 2 13 14 0 0 0 0 3 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 16 0 1 0 0 3 16 10 0 0 0 0 2 17 7 0 0 0 0 1 18 6 0 0 0 0 1 19 5 0 0 0 0 1 20 17 0 1 0 0 3 21 21 1 1 1 0 4 22 5 0 0 0 0 1 23 5 0 0 0 0 1 24 3 0 0 0 0 1 25 10 1 0 1 0 2 26 3 0 0 0 0 1 27 5 0 0 0 0 1 28 3 0 0 0 0 1 29 16 1 0 1 1 3 30 12 1 0 1 1 2 31 21 0 1 0 0 4 32 4 0 0 0 0 1 33 47 6 1 7 3 7 34 11 1 0 1 1 2 16
  17. 17. Legislative District Total Empl. Women African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian/Pac Islander Veterans 35 9 1 0 1 1 1 36 12 1 0 1 1 2 37 15 1 0 1 1 3 38 29 3 0 4 2 5 39 6 0 0 0 0 1 40 28 3 0 4 2 4 41 20 2 0 3 1 3 42 14 1 0 1 1 2 43 1 0 0 0 0 0 44 49 6 1 7 3 8 45 4 0 0 0 0 1 46 2 0 0 0 0 0 47 4 0 0 0 0 1 48 50 7 0 8 3 7 49 20 2 0 3 1 3 50 12 1 0 1 1 2 51 11 1 0 1 0 2 52 5 0 0 0 0 1 53 17 2 0 3 1 3 54 2 0 0 0 0 0 55 8 1 0 1 0 1 56 1 0 0 0 0 0 57 7 0 0 0 0 1 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 59 57 8 0 10 4 8 60 26 3 0 4 2 4 61 33 5 0 5 2 5 62 0 0 0 0 0 0 63 1 0 0 0 0 0 64 53 7 0 8 3 8 65 10 1 0 1 1 2 66 1 0 0 0 0 0 67 2 0 0 0 0 0 Total 864 76 16 89 38 143 % of Total MN Solar Workforce 8.8% 1.9% 10.3% 4.4% 16.6% 17
  18. 18. Legislative District Representative Representative Senator Total Empl. 59 Mullery, Joe Dehn, Raymond Champion, Bobby Joe 57 64 Murphy, Erin Paymar, Michael Cohen, Richard 53 48 Selcer, Yvonne Loon, Jenifer Hann, David W. 50 44 Anderson, Sarah Benson, John Bonoff, Terri E. 49 33 Hertaus, Jerry Pugh, Cindy Osmek, David J. 47 61 Hornstein, Frank Thissen, Paul Dibble, D. Scott 33 38 Runbeck, Linda Dean, Matt Chamberlain, Roger C. 29 40 Nelson, Michael V. Hilstrom, Debra Eaton, Chris A. 28 60 Loeffler, Diane Kahn, Phyllis Dziedzic, Kari 26 21 Kelly, Tim Drazkowski, Steve Schmit, Matt 21 31 Daudt, Kurt Hackbarth, Tom Benson, Michelle R. 21 3 Dill, David Murphy, Mary Bakk, Thomas M. 20 41 Bernardy, Connie Laine, Carolyn Goodwin, Barb 20 49 Erhardt, Ron Rosenthal, Paul Franzen, Melisa 20 20 Woodard, Kelby Bly, David Dahle, Kevin L. 17 53 Ward, JoAnn Kieffer, Andrea Kent, Susan 17 15 Erickson, Sondra Newberger, Jim Brown, David M. 16 29 McDonald, Joe O'Neill, Marion Anderson, Bruce D. 16 37 Newton, Jerry Sanders, Tim Johnson, Alice M. 15 13 Howe, Jeff O'Driscoll, Tim Fischbach, Michelle 14 42 Yarusso, Barb Isaacson, Jason Scalze, Bev 14 2 Erickson, Roger Green, Steve Skoe, Rod 12 8 Nornes, Bud Franson, Mary Ingebrigtsen, Bill 12 30 Zerwas, Nick FitzSimmons, David Kiffmeyer, Mary 12 36 Uglem, Mark Hortman, Melissa Hoffman, John A. 12 50 Slocum, Linda Lenczewski, Ann Wiklund, Melissa H. 12 5 Persell, John Anzelc, Tom Saxhaug, Tom 11 9 Anderson, Mark Kresha, Ron Gazelka, Paul E. 11 34 Peppin, Joyce Zellers, Kurt Limmer, Warren 11 51 Masin, Sandra Halverson, Laurie Carlson, Jim 11 16 Swedzinski, Chris Torkelson, Paul Dahms, Gary H. 10 25 Quam, Duane Norton, Kim Senjem, David H. 10 65 Moran, Rena Mariani, Carlos Pappas, Sandra L. 10 6 Melin, Carly Metsa, Jason Tomassoni, David J. 9 18
  19. 19. Legislative District Representative Representative Senator Total Empl. 12 McNamar, Jay Anderson, Paul Westrom, Torrey N. 9 35 Abeler, Jim Scott, Peggy Petersen, Branden 9 55 Beard, Michael Albright, Tony Pratt, Eric R. 8 4 Lien, Ben Marquart, Paul Eken, Kent 7 10 Ward, John Radinovich, Joe Ruud, Carrie 7 11 Sundin, Mike Faust, Tim Lourey, Tony 7 17 Falk, Andrew Sawatzky, Mary Koenen, Lyle 7 57 Mack, Tara Wills, Anna Clausen, Greg D. 7 1 Fabian, Dan Kiel, Debra Stumpf, LeRoy A. 6 18 Urdahl, Dean Gruenhagen, Glenn Newman, Scott J. 6 39 Dettmer, Bob Lohmer, Kathy Housley, Karin 6 19 Johnson, Clark Brynaert, Kathy Sheran, Kathy 5 22 Schomacker, Joe Hamilton, Rod Weber, Bill 5 23 Gunther, Bob Cornish, Tony Rosen, Julie A. 5 27 Savick, Shannon Poppe, Jeanne Sparks, Dan 5 52 Hansen, Rick Atkins, Joe Metzen, James P. 5 32 Johnson, Brian Barrett, Bob Nienow, Sean R. 4 45 Carlson, Sr., Lyndon Freiberg, Mike Rest, Ann H. 4 47 Leidiger, Ernie Hoppe, Joe Ortman, Julianne E. 4 7 Huntley, Thomas Simonson, Erik Reinert, Roger J. 3 24 Petersburg, John Fritz, Patti Jensen, Vicki 3 26 Liebling, Tina Benson, Mike Nelson, Carla J. 3 28 Pelowski, Jr., Gene Davids, Greg Miller, Jeremy R. 3 46 Winkler, Ryan Simon, Steve Latz, Ron 2 54 Schoen, Dan McNamara, Denny Sieben, Katie 2 67 Mahoney, Tim Johnson, Sheldon Hawj, Foung 2 43 Fischer, Peter Lillie, Leon Wiger, Charles W. 1 56 Myhra, Pam Morgan, Will Hall, Dan D. 1 63 Davnie, Jim Wagenius, Jean Torres Ray, Patricia 1 66 Hausman, Alice Lesch, John Marty, John 1 14 Theis, Tama Dorholt, Zachary Pederson, John C. 0 58 Holberg, Mary Liz Garofalo, Pat Thompson, Dave 0 62 Clark, Karen Allen, Susan Hayden, Jeff 0 Total 864 19
  20. 20. Figure 12: Federal Congressional Districts Table 2: Federal Congressional Districts Congress. District Legislator Total Empl. Women African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian/ Pacific Islander Veterans 1 Walz, Timothy J. 58 1 2 1 0 12 2 Kline, John 56 3 2 3 1 11 3 Paulsen, Erik 250 29 3 34 15 36 4 McCollum, Betty 165 19 2 22 9 25 5 Ellison, Keith 141 19 1 22 9 20 6 Bachmann, Michele 60 1 2 1 1 12 7 Peterson, Collin C. 61 1 2 2 1 13 8 Nolan, Rick 73 3 2 4 2 14 Total 864 76 16 89 38 143 20
  21. 21. 4.0 Conclusions Though a strong solar market has been relatively slow to take hold in the state, Minnesota now stands at the threshold of an imminent boom in solar installations. Driven by a host of strong pro-solar policies set to go into effect this year, the state is anticipating a nearly thirty-fold increase in total installed solar capacity by the end of the decade. Though the state’s 864 solar workers may seem paltry in comparison with employment in some of the more dominant solar markets, Minnesota can expect to add a number of new solar workers commensurate with the predicted increase in installations. ! The solar employers surveyed for this state Census revealed some notable information about the training and experience of the workers they hire. For example, solar companies here place a much greater emphasis on previous related work experience when seeking new employees. Nearly 71% of solar workers hired in Minnesota over the previous year had some previous work experience related to the position. By comparison, only 50% of new hires in the national solar industry required previous work experience, which is much closer to what was observed in our California and Arizona Census efforts. While education remains an important qualification for new solar workers, Minnesota employers appear to prefer workers with an associate’s degree or a certificate from an accredited college (38.2% of new hires) over those holding a bachelor’s degree or beyond (14.7%). This is the reverse of what was observed on the national level, where it is more common for employers to hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree (27.6% of new workers in 2013) than those with an associate’s degree or certificate (13.1%). More investigation is required to fully understand the drivers of these differences. ! Another noteworthy finding from this Minnesota Census was the disproportionately high representation of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services in the state solar industry. Approximately one in six Minnesota solar workers (17%) have served in the military, though statewide, U.S. veterans under 65 (those most likely to be working or seeking work) only represent 6.4% of the state’s total civilian labor force. The Minnesota solar industry’s employment of veterans also compares favorably with the national solar industry as a whole, in which 9.2% of solar workers were found to be former service members. Identifying the causes behind the relatively high employment rate of veterans in the state’s solar industry is a subject for further research. However, The Solar Foundation®, in partnership with the Truman National Security Project’s “Operation Free” campaign, seeks to take on a related effort—designed to understand how skills developed in military occupations transfer over to jobs in the solar industry—which may provide some insight into the factors driving the high veteran employment rate observed in the Minnesota solar industry. ! If you find this Minnesota Census to be useful, please don't hesitate to make a tax-deductible donation to The Solar Foundation®. Each donation, no matter the size, helps us provide credible research that deepens our understanding of the industry and drives the market. !More information at 
  22. 22. ! 5. Appendices 5.1 Data Sources ! EMSI Data Sources and Calculations Industry Data ! In order to capture a complete picture of industry employment, EMSI basically combines covered employment data from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) produced by the Department of Labor with total employment data in Regional Economic Information System (REIS) published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), augmented with County Business Patterns (CBP) and Nonemployer Statistics (NES) published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Projections are based on the latest available EMSI industry data, 15-year past local trends in each industry, growth rates in statewide and (where available) sub-state area industry projections published by individual state agencies, and (in part) growth rates in national projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. ! State Data Sources ! This report uses state data from the following agencies: Minnesota Department of Labor ! ! !! ! 22
  23. 23. 5.2 Data Limitations and Methodology The Minnesota Solar Jobs Census methodology is most closely aligned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ methodology for its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES).  Like BLS, this study uses survey questionnaires and employer-reported data, though ours are administered by phone and email, as opposed to mail. ! Also like BLS, we develop a hierarchy of various categories that represent solar value chain activities (within their broader NAICS framework), develop representative sample frames, and use statistical analysis and extrapolation in a very similar manner to BLS.  We also constrain our universe of establishments by relying on the most recent data from the BLS or the state departments of labor, depending on which is collected most recently.  We believe that the categories that we have developed could be readily adopted by BLS should it choose to begin to quantify solar employment in its QCEW and CES series. ! The survey was administered to a known universe of Minnesota solar employers that includes approximately 86 establishments and is derived from SEIA’s National Solar Database as well as other public and private sources. Of these establishments, 32 provided information about their solar activities (or lack thereof), and 23 completed full or substantially completed surveys. ! The Minnesota survey was also administered to a stratified, clustered, random sampling from various industries that are potentially solar-related that include a total of 6,666 establishments statewide. After an extensive cleaning and de-duplication process, a sampling plan was developed that gathered information on the level of solar activity (including none) from 3,181 establishments. Of these, 116 establishments qualified for and completed full surveys. This level of sampling rigor provides a margin of error for establishment counts at +/-1.22% and employment at +/-6.28% at a 95% confidence interval. For a more complete description of the methodology, please see the National Solar Jobs Census 2013 available at ! The figures provided in this report are estimates based on surveys administered only to employers in installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development and “other” establishments in research and development, legal services, finance and accounting, academia, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other ancillary employers that do solar work. Data for the “other” category do not capture all jobs or establishments in the category. Although some “other” establishments are included in the Known Universe, accounting, legal, finance, and other ancillary establishments spend only a very small portion of their time on solar activities. Thus, full inclusion would lead to inflated employment counts. ! 23
  24. 24. 5.3 Frequently Asked Questions 1. Are these "Direct Jobs" only? Direct, indirect, and induced are terms intended to explain the various levels of economic activity that result from changes to an economy. These figures, generated by economic modeling exercises, are best applied to specific projects rather than entire industries. For example, a utility scale solar project would have a certain number of people working on the construction of the plant (direct), the workers who manufacture and deliver the goods (indirect), and support the local economy by increasing the spending on goods and services, such as restaurants, gas stations, and retail establishments (induced). Census data includes most of the direct and indirect jobs in the solar industry, with the exception of some indirect jobs in the component and materials supply chain. 2. How does your methodology compare with the Bureau of Labor Statistics? The Census methodology is most closely aligned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ methodology for its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES). Like BLS, this study uses survey questionnaires and employer-reported data, though ours are administered by phone and email, as opposed to mail. Also like BLS, we develop a hierarchy of various categories that represent solar value chain activities (within their broader NAICS framework), develop representative sample frames, and use statistical analysis and extrapolation in a very similar manner to BLS. We also constrain our universe of establishments by relying on the most recent data from the BLS or the state departments of labor, depending on which is collected most recently. We believe that the categories that we have developed could be readily adopted by BLS should it choose to begin to quantify solar employment in its QCEW and CES series. 3. How is a solar worker defined? A "solar worker" is defined as those workers who spend at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities. This definition helps to avoid the over-counting that is inherent in methods that count every single job in terms of FTEs or job hours. For example, although BLS does not yet quantify solar jobs, they count other types of occupations by counting every single job separately regardless of hours or fraction of time actually spent on the job. As a result, according to the BLS, someone with three part-time jobs yields three jobs. Although the BLS and others consider our methodology to be the emerging standard for tracking jobs they do not yet track, critics of our methodology claim a 50% definition causes jobs to be over counted. However, the reality is that over 90% of those who meet our definition of a solar worker in 2013 actually spend 100% of their time supporting solar-related activities.  Because the Census covers sectors directly related9 24 In Minnesota, this figure is 81%.9
  25. 25. to new installed solar capacity and the sectors that support these efforts, jobs figures are best thought of as covering direct and indirect jobs. 4. What is the minimum education necessary to enter the solar job field? While there exist entry-level positions for individuals interested in entering certain solar job fields, there is not always an immediate pathway into these jobs. Of the employers who participated in the Minnesota Solar Jobs Census, 71% indicated that they look for previous related experience in the solar workers they hire. In addition, over 38% noted they require at least an associate’s degree or certificate from an accredited college and approximately 15% seek workers with a bachelor’s degree or beyond. Those interested in beginning a career in the solar industry can learn more about the education, experience, and skills required for these jobs by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Career Map at ! More FAQs about the Census methodology and national results are available in the National Solar Jobs Census 2013, available at ! ! 25
  26. 26. ! 6. Solar Employment in Other States Due to the immense investment of time and funding required to do so accurately with a survey-based methodology, the Census report series does not directly provide estimates of solar employment in each of the 50 states. In early 2013, The Solar Foundation® published its first-ever State Solar Jobs Map (, an interactive, web-based tool presenting the most credible estimates of state-level jobs currently known. These figures were internally generated by The Solar Foundation® with technical assistance from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Research Department using thousands of data points from a combination of high-quality sources, including survey results from National Solar Jobs Census Series and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s “National Solar Database.” ! These state employment figures were produced using a carefully developed dual methodology—one for installation and construction jobs and another for distributed generation and non-installation jobs. In brief, method one employed labor intensity multipliers developed internally and cross checked with leading studies on the subject, while method two was based not only on a direct count of solar workers, but also the average number of jobs per solar establishment and total number of establishments in each state. The final state totals provided are the rounded average of our high and low estimates. ! Updated state-level employment estimates were made available through The Solar Foundation’s® State Solar Jobs Map website ( on February 11th, 2014. 26
  27. 27. ! Copyright Notice ! Unless otherwise noted, all design, text, graphics, and the selection and arrangement thereof are Copyright February 2014 by The Solar Foundation® and BW Research Partnership. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials in this report, including reproduction, modification, distribution, or republication, without the prior written consent of The Solar Foundation® and BW Research Partnership, is strictly prohibited. ! ! Please cite this publication when referencing this material as “Minnesota Solar Jobs Census 2013, The Solar Foundation, available at:”