Illinois adds solar jobs despite Washington climate

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Sunday, April 2, 2017
This April 20, 2011, image shows some of the 30,000 solar panels that make up the Public Service Company of New Mexico's new 2-megawatt photovoltaic array.

CHICAGO -- Illinois' solar industry continues growing despite President Donald Trump's executive order reversing rules combating climate change.

The nonprofit Solar Foundation released a report last week saying the number of Illinois solar jobs increased to over 3,700 workers in 2016, a 6.7 increase from the previous year. These numbers rank Illinois No. 17 in the country for solar jobs, with employment expected to increase 5 percent this year.

The Chicago Tribune says the report was released right before Trump's order reversing the Clean Power Plan signed by former President Barack Obama requiring utilities to reduce power plants carbon dioxide emissions, increasing reliance on renewable energy sources.

But thanks to the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act set to take effect in June, many industry operators are looking to a promising future.