ISS has been a leader in utility-scale solar farms for years and we support all growth in the solar industry, and the industry is thriving in West Texas. With multiple utility-scale solar projects for sale in the state, we keep a close eye on local news and trends. Texas is the second-largest producer of solar in the US and is expected to see even more massive growth. But along with this growth are communities being positively affected as well?
In West Texas’s Permian Basin known for its oil fields, a new alternative energy source has taken root. HCS Renewable Energy has been throwing job fairs and hiring locals from all over the area. More than 200 people were hired last summer and HCS is looking to hire 60% to 80% of workers from the surrounding area. Ron Nickelson, company founder, president, and the chief operating officer said, “The best solution to labor issues is finding a local workforce and training them.” Nickelson stated “We want to employ as many locally as possible. That’s why we have job fairs,” he said. “We would like to show young people this is a long-term career” and the estimated $3 billion to $4 billion being spent on solar projects in West Texas will provide long-term employment.” The company is also investing in training and apprenticeship programs for employees using local electricians. There are years of back projects to build and plenty of jobs that will need to be filled in the future. “The basis of the explosion in West Texas for solar energy – the groundwork was laid 10 years ago with the approval of transmission lines for moving wind power. That was an $18 billion investment to move wind power from West Texas to Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston. Solar power can tie into those transmission lines.” With that foundation set years ago, solar companies can thrive, which in turn helps the local communities grow. “It’s been fun to see the diversification in the Permian Basin. Every time the Permian Basin has been written off; it comes back.” said Nickelson.
With a multitude of projects in the state, ISS has also been helping farmers and communities all over Texas. If you are interested in learning more about Innovative Solar Systems, LLC or our utility-scale solar farm projects, please call 828-424-7884 or visit innovativesolarsystemsllc.com.