New Orleans has said yes to solar energy. The City Council has unanimously adopted a resolutions of policies that will lead to the development of a robust local solar industry. The city believes that more solar will help their community and its citizens save money as well as provide quality employment opportunities and grow the local economy.
Councilmember Guidry, one of the resolution’s co-sponsors, spoke of the city’s success in adopting solar energy. In February, New Orleans was named a leader in Environment America’s “Top 10 Solar Cities” ranking. The city is currently number six in the country for solar energy per capita. Councilmember Guidry went on to say, “I look forwarding to becoming number one.”
The Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association (GSREIA) was an active participant in the support of the solar initiatives. During public comments, the organization noted that the council had the opportunity to support a growing industry that creates a significant number of long-lasting local jobs. The solar industry employs over 3,600 direct and supporting jobs in Louisiana, and New Orleans is home to many successful solar businesses that employ local residents, according to GSREIA.
New Orleans is a bright spot for solar energy, with one third of the state’s solar installations and a designation by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 as a “Solar America City”. “Solar is growing fast in America, and 87% of Louisianans have said they want to see more solar back home,” said Jeff Cantin, President of GSREIA. “With the state considering cuts to the Solar Tax Credit program, it’s important to remember that families and businesses rely on thoughtful management of these programs for a stable business environment.”