NC among leaders in adding clean energy jobs

North Carolina was among the top 10 states in the country for creating clean energy jobs in 2014, an environmental advocacy group said Thursday.

The state added 1,420 clean energy jobs last year in a dozen announcements, ranking eighth nationwide, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In all, nearly 47,000 clean energy jobs were created nationally last year, comparatively low for recent years, the group said. The country added 78,000 clean energy jobs in 2013.

The top-ranking state in 2014 was Nevada, where Tesla announced its “Gigafactory” to make lithium iron batteries. The site will employ 6,500 people, Tesla has said.

The biggest announcement in North Carolina will employ 500 people at an Alevo lithium iron module factory in a former Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing facility in Concord. The site will employ 2,500 people within three years, the Swiss company announced in October.

A Duke Energy solar farm installation project will create 800 temporary construction jobs in Bladen, Duplin and Wilson counties. Other sources of clean energy jobs in North Carolina last year were building efficiency, solar manufacturing, solar generation and recycling, the report said.

Washington, DC-based Environmental Entrepreneurs, also known as E2, did not provide cumulative job totals for each state, only the number of jobs added last year.

But the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, a trade group in Raleigh, said last month that North Carolina has nearly 23,000 clean energy jobs. Most of those jobs are in the solar energy and building efficiency industries.

Murawski: 919-829-8932