When Pennsylvanians think of clean energy jobs, the images that come to mind might include a team of solar installers drilling panels onto a roof in Bucks County, or a hard-hatted wind turbine technician perched atop a 200-foot-tall white tower at Moosic Mountain outside Scranton.
High-flying, high-profile jobs like these are crucial to our state’s growing clean energy economy.
But they only tell part of the story.
According to the just-released Clean Jobs Pennsylvania report from the national, nonpartisan business group E2, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and other local partners, there are now more than 86,000 clean energy jobs in our state. And while many of these jobs may be a bit under the radar for most Pennsylvanians, lawmakers in our state must not discount them when deciding which energy policies to support.
Take the company I lead in Hatboro in Montgomery County, which was founded in 2009. Our business, Alencon Systems, employs about a dozen people at an unassuming office park near the junction of Route 611 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. While the exterior of our building doesn’t exactly scream renewable energy to passersby, the work happening inside is on the cutting edge of solar technology.
Our workers are mostly electrical engineers and software developers, and we have a small but growing sales team who help bring to market solar power equipment like inverters and DC optimizers. To the untrained eye, our DC-optimizers look almost like aluminum porcupines. However, inside are sophisticated electrical components and engineering concepts developed right here in Pennsylvania and protected by U.S. and international patents.
The Pennsylvania jobs our products support don’t end at our office park gate. While our products are designed in Montgomery County, we rely on a Central Pennsylvania-based business to actually manufacture our devices and the hardware they contain.
For us, clean energy truly means “Made in Pennsylvania.”
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