According to nonprofit research group The Solar Foundation's latest State Solar Jobs Census report, the solar industry "now directly employs an estimated 17,044 people in the Midwest," Midwest Energy News reports. In 2013, Ohio ranked eighth in the nation for solar jobs, up two spots from its 2012 ranking. It currently ranks number one in the Midwest. During that time, the state added 900 solar jobs, with manufacturing, installation and project development emerging as the top industries. The total number of solar companies in Ohio is 185, with approximately 8,498 homes powered by solar. Ohio law requires electric distribution utilities and electric services companies to secure a portion of their electricity from alternative energy resources. By 2025, 25 percent of the electricity sold by each utility or electric services company within Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources. At least 12.5 percent must be generated from renewable energy resources, including wind, hydro, biomass and at least 0.5 percent solar. At least one half of the renewable energy used must be generated at facilities located in Ohio. The constitutionality of this in-state requirement is currently being challenged both by Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives as well as opponents of a wind farm before the Ohio Supreme Court (See our Feb 14, 2014, blog post – "Neighbor group opposed to the Buckeye II Wind Project is challenging the in-state renewable energy requirement's constitutionality before the Ohio Supreme Court"). Read more about Ohio's Renewable and Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard on this Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) webpage.
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