The Solar Foundation has announced the topline results of its annual census of employment in the solar industry. Prepare your storm clouds/sunny day jokes.

On November 2nd, 2012, The Solar Foundation announced that the U.S. solar industry employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar jobs and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past twelve months. During the same period, employment in the overall economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) …

The Solar Foundation estimates that 1 in every 230 jobs created over the past 12 months was in the solar industry. The foundation’s full census will be released on Nov. 14.

Solar panels in always-sunny Oregon.
OregonDOT

Not included in that data is TenKsolar’s upcoming facility near Boston. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Solar panel maker TenKsolar will build a solar power system with 16,000 panels for a Massachusetts municipal utility — the largest project ever for the Bloomington [Minnesota] company.

TenKsolar CEO Joel Cannon said Thursday that the project will cost about $10 million to build on 12 acres in Ashburnham, population 6,300, about 60 miles west of Boston.

The unit will generate 3 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 300 homes, and is expected to be in service next year, the company said.

The number of employees added by the new facility isn’t listed. Maybe there aren’t any. Maybe they are all robots. Maybe that’s the innovation at play here, the new world into which we are entering. Maybe this company, this oddly-named “TenKsolar” has developed an army of solar-powered and solar-creating robots meant to swarm across Massachusetts, use that state as a starting point, and build out the United States until “TenKsolar” has a monopoly over all energy creation. At that point, fellow patriots, we’ll be putty in their hands, solar-needing, robot-fearing putty, all out of work, all cowering in the dark, the wonderful, lovely dark which is the only place the robots can’t get us. Maybe that’s what’s happening here.

Or maybe it’s just missing from the article, who knows. The Solar Foundation can let us know next year.