TYSON O’SHEA: Veterans perfect fit for renewable energy

TO THE EDITOR:

In early November, local elected officials met with clean energy businesses and industry experts, in Traverse City to highlight how solar and wind industries are providing jobs for veterans.

As a U.S. Navy veteran, I use skills learned in the military to perform my job in this important and emerging industry. We employ three veterans and are always looking to hire more.

I’m not alone. More than 300 veterans currently work in solar energy in Michigan. Michigan has over 113 megawatts of installed solar power. Across the country, more than 11,000 veterans are actively working in the wind industry.

Michigan is ranked 14th in the country for wind production. We currently produce about 4.5 percent of our power from large wind farms with over 900 turbines in use. I’m proud to be part of an industry that supports those who continue to serve our country.

Traverse City Light & Power, and other area utilities are focused on renewable energy as global companies including Facebook, Amazon, GM and others demand greater access to clean energy as well. This focus is reaching into all of our homes and businesses, creating a strong interest in this industry for both residential and commercial.

Transitioning to wind and solar energy will increase the need for skilled workers in construction, manufacturing and installation of renewable energy projects. Veterans are well-equipped to fill these jobs and help meet the need for skilled workers in this growing sector of the economy. I applaud our local businesses for supporting veterans.

Tyson O’Shea

VP operations, CBS Solar

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