Opinions on the Solar Industry in California???

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Opinions on the Solar Industry in California???

Post by FrostyMan » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:41 pm

So basically, I hate my current job and hate living in the 'burbs of No. Virginia even more. I need to shake things up. I've been thinking of getting a job in the solar industry for over a year now. I think, with thin film technology, solar might be ready to go main stream and I want to help out and be there at the beginning. And what better place to do that in then sunny Cali? I think this spring I'm gonna pull the trigger and do it.

Only problem is I'm not getting much support from friends/family. Every time I mention California all I hear is, "Ohh you don't want to move there. There's earthquakes, fires, and riots. It's full of a bunch of freaks and wierdo's. They're going broke, there's no jobs, bullets whizz by your head all day, blah, blah ,blah....."

How is the solar industry doing in Cal? Are jobs really that hard to come by? I have 3 years semiconductor experience and a degree but will it be enough...I'd like to move to the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Plus I'd be closer to the burner community...
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Post by ygmir » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:29 pm


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Post by Ugly Dougly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:52 pm

You'll be all right. Trust in your little native deities, and throw caution to the wind.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:41 pm

Okay. Arizona is perhaps the (forgive me for the pun I am about to commit) hotbed for this in the western states. There are, I think, close to or over 20 large projects on the drawing boards and more than dozen of them are fast tracked through the environmental review process because they are receiving ARRA (stimulus) funding. There are also wind projects in CA and NV and solar in CA. I don't know much about rooftop solar. However, there's a huge number of new buildings and a lot of old that seem to be going for LEED certification around here (San Francisco Bay Area) so I've got to believe that there are more small shops offering those services.
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Post by Isotopia » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:16 am

Every time I mention California all I hear is, "Ohh you don't want to move there. There's earthquakes, fires, and riots. It's full of a bunch of freaks and wierdo's.
Yep. All true.

California is goddamn natural disaster theme park.

Remember when you were a kid and it was your first time jumping off the high board into the 12' section of the pool?

Same thing here. Just fucking do it.

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Post by j_cavera » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:11 am

I don't know specifics as to who is hiring and who isn't, but in the Phoenix area there are a few dozen solar companies of all sizes. Some are large (First Solar, Nanosolar, Kyocera,...), most are small. Additionally, Arizona State Univ., is building a large solar test facility and most of the community colleges have solar-related courses.

As far as the location goes, AZ is a lot like CA, but with a (slightly) lower cost of living and (slightly) less pollution. But the best part is that the summer climate is much like the playa, so you get there pre-acclimated! YMMV on that last one...

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Post by can't sit still » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:20 pm

If you're looking more towards the R&D side, Spectrolab is local. The area, Sun Valley, isn't much to speak of though.
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