In the solar industry, North Liberty-based solar company MOXIE became one of the state’s early adopters of solar when it began operations in 2008. Company founder Jason Hall said MOXIE has grown from seven employees in fewer than five years ago to close to 100 — with the large majority of those employees in Iowa.
Hall attributed growth in jobs to the strength of the solar market across the state, which has been driven largely by the falling cost of installing solar arrays. Hall said the cost has dropped from about $8 per watt a decade ago to around $3 per watt.
“There’s never been a better time, from an economics point of view, to purchase solar,” he said.
Growth in solar has allowed the company to expand into other states including Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado.
“We’re kind of creating our own sales markets at this point, so as we add sales people and locations, we just naturally continue to grow,” Hall said.
Nationwide, solar installers are projected to see more growth in the coming years compared to any other occupation — but the profession still represents a fraction of the total workforce. There were about 11,300 solar installers in 2016, with the industry expected to reach close 23,100 in 2026.
That’s compared to more than 156 million non-farm workers across the country in 2016, according to the bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics program.